Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Week In Review

I don't know what makes people think that being a stay at home mom is leisurely.  Even with 2 adult children and a 15 year old, my days are busy.  Of course, homeschooling makes a difference, but still...

Since I didn't have to work this week (thank you Spring Break!) we were able to keep up with all the school work E had.  It was a good thing too; E had his unit test for algebra, and we needed to do a lot of reviewing.  E does great when he does his lesson quizzes, typically getting 90% and above.  But when it comes time for his unit test, he gets everything jumbled up in his head and he forgets how to do the problems, getting formulas all mixed up.  This time, we reviewed everything from the unit step by step, then he did part 2 of the test first, which is the part that his teacher emails to him and he emails back.  That took longer; there were five questions, but each question had three parts to it, and he had to show all his work.  It was time consuming, but he got a 98%.  Then it came time to do part one which was multiple choice.  He wasn't looking forward to it, but once he sat down he found it only took him 20 minutes and he got 100%.  It made him feel a whole lot better once that was over.

The rest of the week went pretty smoothly.  Yesterday, however, was a stressful and distressing day.

Our dog Molly has been with us for almost four years now.  When we found her in our front yard, she was just over a year old, skinny, filthy, and scared.  We took her in, and she has been the most loving dog we've ever seen.  She is gentle, well behaved, and a great watch dog - she makes plenty of noise whenever someone comes to the door, enough to scare them away!  It's been a joy adding her to our family.

A couple of years ago we noticed a growth on her belly.  It was almost time to get her tags, so we waited to see the vet at the humane society.  She looked at it, and told us it shouldn't be a problem unless it started growing, in which case we should see a vet about it.  After a year we did notice it was getting bigger, so we took her to a local vet (the vet who had seen her before had moved out of the area).  This vet didn't even examine her; he glanced at her belly, said it was probably blood cancer, then proceeded to give us an estimate of $500 - $700 just to remove it, then it would have to be sent to a lab to find out if it really was cancer.  I was shocked and upset at this vet who didn't even take a good look at her or even touch her, so we left.  A short time later the growth popped, sort of like a pimple, and it shrunk.  We figured it was going away, and left it alone.  Over the past year it would grow and pop, grow and pop, and while we kept an eye on it, we didn't think too much of it.

The last few months, though, it has grown very large.  It's now bigger than a golf ball, and it bleeds occasionally.  Molly has been acting perfectly normal as far as her mood and appetite, but we did notice she's also limping from her right hind leg.  The growth and her limp were becoming more and more concerning, so Saturday my daughter and I took her to another vet, one who has been clipping her nails for the last year.  This vet asked lots of questions; she did a better job of examining her, though the growth is large enough that you don't have to get too close to see it.  Her diagnosis was disheartening: the growth doesn't look good.  Yes, it could be benign, but from the description she feels it most likely is cancer.  We have scheduled her surgery for a week from tomorrow, and once the growth is removed it will be biopsied.  She also told us that, while there is a chance Molly is limping simply because she's overweight (a whopping 82 lbs.), there is the possibility that the cancer has spread into her bones.  If that's the case, there is very little that can be done other than chemotherapy, and I've already made it clear to my kids (and they agree with me) that I would never put a dog through chemo.  This kind of treatment is painful, weakening, and dogs don't understand why it's happening.  I wouldn't want my sweet Molly to think she's being punished, which is what chemo must seem like to a dog.  Our prayer is that the tumor is benign, but if it isn't, we will do everything possible to keep Molly comfortable until she can no longer live, or until her time comes on its own.  It's not a pleasant thought at all, and I remember how much we suffered when our dog Tobey became ill and had to be put down, but the thought of treating her for cancer is, in my opinion, inhumane.  Those that wish to do it to their pets have the right to do so, but I just can't.  And it hurts my heart to know that either way she might suffer.  It has brought the mood in our home down low, but we trust that God will do what is right.  He brought her to us, and He will decide when she needs to leave us.

That's pretty much it.  I go back to work tomorrow, and school continues, as does life.  There are always stumbling blocks in the road; hiccups in life that we would prefer to avoid but can't.  The trials of life help make us stronger and remind us Who we need to depend on.  If you think of it, please pray for our Molly to not have cancer.  That would be the best news our vet could give us.  God bless, and good night.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Where Have I Been?

I just realized I haven't blogged in over a week.  What the heck?! I was supposed to be blogging more often, not less!  I've got some catching up to do.

The reason I didn't blog last weekend was because I was barely home.  Saturday was grocery shopping day.  It was also fair/concert day.  One of the local county fairs in South Florida had Danny Gokey and Brandon Heath in concert, and my best friend IV was dying to go.  She's a concert junkie more so than I am - I usually tag along with her, though I have to admit I love the Christian concert scene myself.  She'd gotten some really cheap tickets too: $5 per person, when the regular price is $18.  That's to get into the fair, but both concerts are free once you're inside, so we got to enjoy a really great evening.  The weather was perfect too, neither too hot nor cold.  There was a nice breeze, and a chill was in the air but nothing uncomfortable.  That's a big change from the fair concert last year.  We went to see Matthew West and SonicFlood.  We got a sonic flood all right: it poured like crazy!  We were thankful that didn't repeat itself this year!  Our kids went on a gazillion rides while we sang and worshiped with these two incredible artists and lovers of God.  We got home at midnight but we had a blast.

Then Sunday I got up early for church - barely got any sleep - and my friend DS asked me if I had any plans for the afternoon.  "Yeah," I said, "sleep."  She quickly protested and explained why: she managed to get tickets to see Third Day that evening, and the tickets were $15!  We hadn't planned on going because ticket prices were $45 and up, and the $45 tickets were not very good seats.  I was sure we were getting lousy seats at such a low price, but DS insisted we should go and make a girl's night out of it, her, IV and myself.  We agreed.  I went home, took a 15 minute power nap, then got ready.  When we got there we were all shocked: third row seats!  I couldn't believe it!  None of us could, really.  And who opened for Third Day?  Brandon Heath!  We got to see him two nights in a row!  We were so tired, but so incredibly blessed by the worship, that it didn't matter if I didn't sleep for another two nights!

Monday started our school week again, along with preparations for spring break for work.  There was plenty to do and finish up, so it was a crazy hectic week.  I'm glad to have this week off, so E and I can get caught up on some of his school assignments - not that he's far behind, but especially his PE class has been put on the back burner in an effort to get all his other assignments in on time.  We'll be focusing on that.

Wednesday our Awana group was blessed with a visit from a missionary!  This young lady is 20 years old and attended the school that is affiliated with our church.  She is now a missionary in Argentina, and she talked to the kids about her experience.  They were really interested and asked lots of questions, though the boys were mostly concerned with what kind of food is served in Argentina, LOL!

We had our Good Friday service at 2:00 in the afternoon.  I don't know why we continue to have Good Friday services so early.  Unfortunately, gone are the days when folks had Good Friday off from work.  We had a good amount of people show up, though, and I was thankful.  We had communion, then Pastor gave a lovely sermon based on Isaiah 53:1-6 and how Jesus was misidentified and misunderstood.  He did an awesome job; we left feeling grateful for the sacrifice our Lord and Savior made for us.

Friday morning I got an email from New York and Company, my favorite clothing store.  They were having a huge sale, but we had school to do, and Good Friday service to attend in the afternoon.  I went ahead and took a look online, and found some cardigans on sale for $15.  I have one of their cardigans, and the quality is outstanding, so I ordered 3 more, along with a couple of tank tops ($7 each) and a pretty top ($15).  I don't mind buying from New York and Company because everything I buy from them lasts me a good long time, but I especially like getting stuff cheap!

Today was designated Floor Cleaning Day.  I love our dog Molly, but she is a slobberer and a shedder.  I cleaned the floors recently, and they looked like I hadn't touched them in months.  I got to work mopping the hallway and living room, then looked at the red wall in my living room.


Don't get me wrong, I love the red wall.  It's a great accent wall.  Except for one thing.  My living room faces west.  I get no morning sunlight in this room, and in the afternoon I only get sunlight for a short amount of time while the sun is going down.  With dark brown floors and dark green furniture, the room looked dark.  And I don't like dark.

I'd been thinking about changing the wall for some time, painting it the same color as the rest of the walls to brighten up the room.  There's a red wall in the dining room and another in the family room, but those aren't anywhere near as dark looking because the back of the house faces east, and these rooms get lots of sunlight.  I decided to check and see if I had any paint left; after all, I'd painted the house back in 2010.  Lo and behold, there was a little less than half a can of paint left.  I made up my mind and got to work.  Here is the end result:


That is one bright room!  It's much more cheerful, and that's what I wanted.  Now I'll have to schedule a trip to Kirkland's to get some artwork for that wall.  It'll have to wait, though.  I have to take my car to the dealership on Monday to have it checked out.  The steering wheel is making a rattling sound, and it kind of sticks.  I hate car problems.

That's it for now.  I pray everyone has a blessed Resurrection Day.  He is Risen!  Glory To God!

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Week In Review - Birthday Week

It's a special day today.  My oldest son R turns twenty-something.  I don't want to think of the number too much.  It reminds me of my own age, something I've been trying to ignore lately.

It's been a pretty good week, as weeks go.  Public schools were off, so traffic was a bit lighter.  So was work.  There were lots of kids that didn't come for tutoring because they've gone out of town for spring break.  It was a bit unnerving, trying to figure out things to do when there was nothing to do.  My boss gave me a list of parents he wants to meet with in the next month, so I called a bunch of them to make appointments.  I couldn't call all of them; making appointments too far in advance means parents forget and reschedule, and I didn't want that to happen, so I made appointments for next week.  That means I had to stretch out the list to make it last as long as possible.

My boss's wife, MM, has again made comments leading me to believe that she wants to spend less time at the office.  It bothers me, not because of the work, but because she won't just come out and say it.  I was hired, supposedly, to assist her with her work because the workload was overwhelming.  What I'm seeing, is that she wants to walk away and leave me in charge.

Honestly, as I observe and learn more, I find that a lot of the workload could easily be lightened by changing some procedures.  MM is very set in her ways; she's been doing things a certain way for the past 11 years, and she isn't about to change them, no matter how much better another method might be.  I've tried showing her different things she can do to reduce her workload, but she looks at it with total disbelief and shrugs it off.  It became a bit frustrating for me this week, especially.  We bill our customers once a month for the next month's tutoring sessions.  It takes a long time to do, because MM wants all the invoices done by hand, then entered into the computer.  The system could easily print off the invoices - I even showed her how simple it is - but she refuses.  The part-printed/part-handwritten invoices are so sloppy looking and unprofessional, yet she won't look at any other option.  I worked the entire time on that yesterday, and I'm still not finished writing out the invoices.  I tried entering the invoices into the computer as I wrote them to show her how much more effective that would be, but she wouldn't accept that either.  I wrote them by hand, she checked what I wrote and entered the information into the computer.  I just shook my head; she creates more work for herself, but as my daughter wisely pointed out, it's her business.  She's the boss.  She decides how she wants things done, and I have to do them.  But it's no wonder she's burned out, with the amount of extra work she makes for herself.

We had no Awana this Wednesday because of Spring Break, but my son told me there would be youth group.  I got out of work, rushed to the house and went to church.  Turned out youth group had been cancelled, but my son never got the text message from his youth pastor.  Poor Pastor D, he was so apologetic.  It was for the best, though.  E got some schoolwork caught up.  It's been a busy school week but E's done really well.  He took his science exam this morning and got a 94%.  I was pleasantly surprised; it was a tricky test, and though he studied for it for two days I didn't know if he'd do well.  Praise God, he aced the test and we breathed a sigh of relief that it's over!

We had a mini celebration for R's birthday.  We gave him his gifts this morning: his sister A got him volume 3 of the cartoon Animaniacs, E got him the game Vanquish for the X-Box, and I got him the complete set of Megaman cartoons on DVD along with the new Kirby game for the WiiU.  He was all smiles.  Then we went out for lunch to a nice restaurant in town.  For dessert, my daughter made these incredible cupcakes.  They're dark chocolate with a Nutella frosting.  The best part was inside the cupcake - she filled them with an Oreo creme filling she made from a recipe she found on Pinterest.  It was like eating an Oreo cookie, but in cupcake form.  Oh my word, they are beyond delicious!!  She stayed up till late last night after work baking and decorating them, and her brother appreciated it.  He even took some to his friends for them to try.  I think he was proud of his little sister for the yummy treat she baked, and she was beaming because we couldn't stop raving about them!

It's a gorgeous day out - hot but not humid, sunny and breezy.  That may change, as the weather forecast calls for thunderstorms this afternoon, but we're really hoping that won't happen.  My daughter is going to an outdoor wedding this afternoon, and no one wants to go to an outdoor wedding under the rain.

That's it for this week - so far anyway.  Here's to wishing everyone a wonderful weekend.  God bless!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday, Monday

How quickly our time off ends, how slowly our work week progresses...

It's back to school today, and no, my son isn't looking forward to it.  While he much prefers homeschooling, he hates the fact that his friends are off from school this week for spring break.  I'm sure it won't be as bad as he thinks; thanks to technology, he's able to play games and chat with his buddies without having to leave the house.  Boy, it sure was different when I was growing up!  The most I could do was talk on the phone, and since there was only one line (no call waiting back then) my dad would get mad if we were on the phone more than 10 minutes.  His logic was, phones should only be used in emergencies.  If you want to talk to people, go see them in person.  I don't think my dad would approve of the texting generation.

My face was still broken out on Saturday despite taking Benadryl the night before, which was weird, but it wasn't spreading or getting worse, so I did my normal morning routine.  The only thing I left out was the Mineralixer oil from Bare Minerals I've been trying out; I figured it was the newest thing I'd added to my skincare regimen so I should leave it out.

I woke up with a ton of energy.  I started cleaning the hallway bathroom and looked at the walls.  When we remodeled the bathrooms back in 2009, I'd painted the hall bathroom in an olive-y kind of green.  I love color, and I'm not afraid to use darker tones on the walls.  It looked pretty when I first did it, but after 6 years the paint was looking dull and dirty.  Add to that the fact that this is the room where my daughter does her makeup, and she complains that there isn't enough light in the bathroom.  I tried doing my makeup in there, and I had to agree.  So I looked through the paints I had in the garage, and found some leftover tan color paint from my bedroom.  It's a color I like to call "cafe con leche" (coffee with milk).  While it isn't necessarily a light color, it is lighter than the green, and any amount of lightness would help.  It's a tiny bathroom, so it neither needed much paint nor time, but it's hard to paint because it is so small a space.  Getting the ladder around was tricky, and the paint tray had to stay in the hallway because it wouldn't fit in the bathroom.  Still, it got done in about an hour, and it looks nice and clean.  The color isn't bold like the green was, but I think my daughter will appreciate the brightness a lighter color brings.

I got both bathrooms cleaned, then went back to Pep Boys to get my tires balanced.  I'd gotten new tires last Sunday, and when I got on the expressway Thursday for my hair appointment, the car was shaking like there was an earthquake.  Scared me a bit, I've got to say.  So I had that taken care of, then headed over to Payless Shoe Source.  I had a 15% off coupon so I figured it wouldn't hurt to see what they had.  Lately I'd been disappointed with the selection at Payless; the shoes were overpriced knock-offs that weren't comfortable or even pretty.  This time I had a much better experience.  They've got their summer sandals and shoes, and I found two pairs of wedges that are not only cute but very comfy to walk around in!  The selection at this particular Payless was slim - I don't know if they haven't received the newer stock or if they sold out - but I got a pair in black with brown straps and a pair in a nice cream color with espadrille heels.


  
I especially love the black ones!  I wore them to church yesterday and they are super comfortable to walk in!

Sunday morning, very first thing in the morning, I got a visit from my monthly friend.  There went my energy level, down the drain.  I was dragging my feet all day yesterday.  My stomach felt like it had rocks in it, my back was achy and I sat around doing nothing - well no, not exactly nothing; I did a bunch of laundry.  I still have to fold it, though.  But at least the day wasn't a total waste.

One thing I did notice this morning - the breakout on my face has almost completely disappeared, which means it wasn't an allergy like I'd thought.  It was purely hormonal.  It's rough being a girl, let me tell you.

It's just about time to start school, so I say farewell for now, and to all, have a blessed week.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

My Week In Review

It was my intention to post more frequently this week, since it was spring break for my son.  So much for good intentions...

For some reason (that no one seems to understand), schools in South Florida all have different weeks for their Spring Break.  Homeschool students were off this past week, while public school students are off next week.  Since many students have dual enrollment, taking certain honors classes online while still attending traditional school, I have to wonder why they couldn't come together and agree on having Spring Break at the same time?  While it's true that homeschooling is flexible, Florida Virtual School has changes to the curriculum that often don't happen till the day before an assignment is due, or at the beginning of the school week.  Trying to get ahead can be tricky; an assignment might be cancelled or an alternate given, in which case the student would have worked for nothing.  I just think it would have made more sense to have both take their breaks at the same time.

Now add to that the fact that private schools don't have the same Spring Break as public schools.  Some private schools will be closed next week, same as public schools, but Catholic schools are off the week after Holy Week.  That's another change I don't understand; traditionally, Catholic schools were closed during Holy Week.  Anyway, our tutoring center decided to close during the time the Catholic schools close since we have so many students from Catholic schools, and because some of the Protestant private schools will be open but the kids will be taking their SAT's so they won't be coming to tutoring.  That would have meant way too many absences, so it's better to close.

This week I spent a good amount of time adjusting next week's schedule.  With public schools being closed next week, we've had dozens of parents calling in to let us know their kids won't be coming to tutoring because they're going out of town for Spring Break.  Unfortunately it's not possible for the center to be closed for two separate weeks, so we'll be open next week even though it might resemble a bit of a ghost town.

I've also been doing a lot of work on my own.  Tuesday marked my one month anniversary working at the center, but I've already been left to take care of the front desk by myself twice.  I've come to the realization that my boss, MM, is burned out.  She and her husband have owned the tutoring center for over 11 years, and in that time she's take one break.  She's run the front desk on her own for a long time; she's had people working there with her, but they've been tutors, who have to leave as soon as their students arrive.  I think she wants to be able to take some time off once in awhile, without worrying about whether everything is being taken care of.  She wants to walk away and spend time with her kids, with her mom who is getting up in years, with friends she doesn't see too often.  I totally get it, and I'm honored that she trusts me enough to leave me in charge, though I know she's a bit of a control freak and won't let go completely.  She still looks over my shoulders a lot, which I have to get used to.

One thing that unnerved me this week, though, was having to tutor a couple of kids.  There's a stomach flu going around, and one of our teachers had to go to the hospital because she became so sick.  She had some students that needed homework help, and there was no one else available to tutor them.  I was "volunteered", which I didn't mind since they were both elementary school students.  What upset me was that I was pretty much thrown to the lions, so to speak: I received no training on any of the programs, no instruction on what to do, and I had no clue what I was supposed to be doing.  Thankfully the first student was eager to explain everything his teacher does with him, and another teacher (who is an absolute doll) showed me where the material was, and I was able to work with the two boys.  They assigned another teacher (she's a wonderful young lady as well) to train me, but that wasn't until the next day.  I think in their minds tutoring would be a no-brainer for a homeschooling mom.  I had to explain what the big difference is: when I homeschool, it's my kid.  If I mess up I don't have to answer to anyone, I just have to fix it.  The kids that come to the tutoring center are paying customers.  Their parents expect a certain level of instruction that I am not qualified to give.  I'm all about being a team player and helping out whenever I'm needed, so long as I'm properly prepared to do the task.  I didn't feel that I was at that time, and it made me feel uncomfortable, which I let them know.

The rest of the week went smoother.  Since I didn't have to homeschool, I polished some of the floors that had gotten dulled from moving furniture boxes around.  Thursday I got a haircut - I went back to the short bob I'd gotten back in October.  My hair had been chin length at that time, and it had grown past my shoulders.  I debated whether to cut it short or not, but since my hair grows so much as so quickly, I decided to go for it and had it cut chin length again.  This way all the dull and damaged ends are gone, and I'm left with healthier hair to grow out.        

I've been having some breakouts this week.  I hadn't had pimples like this in ages, but Wednesday I had three - THREE! - on my face, two of them plainly on my chin.  I scrubbed them good, and two of them actually popped.  Then yesterday after lunch I started noticing a different kind of breakout.  I have several spots on my face that are not zits.  These look like hives, like when I have allergies.  My allergies have been running rampant lately thanks to the warmer weather, but I suspect this may have been from the fish I had for lunch yesterday.  I made it myself, and I've had tilapia before, but reactions can happen at any time.  I took a Benadryl last night but this morning they're still there.  At least there aren't more, nor has it spread to any other part of my body.  Not that I like having them on my face :P.  Yesterday they were a bit itchy; that isn't the case today.

That was my week, in a nutshell.  I'm off to clean bathrooms now - thrilling, huh?  Have a blessed weekend everyone!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Product Review: Complexion Rescue

Back in February I got Bare Mineral's new product, Complexion Rescue.  It's a combination of a BB cream, a CC cream, and a tinted moisturizer.  I had tried the sample that was sent to me and I liked the feel of it, so I decided it was worth purchasing.  I've been using it for over a month now, and while it took me awhile to figure out the best way to use it, I have to say it has quickly become a favorite in my makeup collection.

The first couple of times I tried using Complexion Rescue as a tinted moisturizer on its own, I wasn't thrilled with it.  It is very hydrating, which my dry skin loves, but it left my face looking very shiny.  It also felt tacky, which isn't a good thing when you're trying to put other stuff on, like bronzer or blush.  I began using it as a primer for the Bareskin foundation instead, and I really liked it for that.  It made my liquid foundation last longer, and I could use less of it because Complexion Rescue is tinted.  But it bothered me that I couldn't use it the way I'd originally intended.  I had bought Complexion Rescue so that I could use it on days when I didn't want to wear a face full of makeup, but I also didn't want to look like I'd just rolled out of bed.  Days like when I'm running errands or going to the grocery store.  I was upset that it didn't want to work that way.

What I didn't realize, was that I was treating the product like a foundation, which it isn't.  Complexion Rescue is marketed as "a tinted hydrating gel cream."  In other words, it's a tinted moisturizer with some added bonuses, but it's still a moisturizer.  I had to treat it like a moisturizer.  When I apply moisturizer after washing my face, I always wait 20-30 minutes before applying makeup.  This is because the moisturizer needs time to absorb into the skin.  If I tried to put makeup on immediately after putting on moisturizer, I'd have a sloppy, cakey mess.  For Complexion Rescue to work, I had to do the same thing.  Once I modified my routine, I began to see the results I'd been hoping for.

This is my makeup routine when I use Complexion Rescue:  Step one, I always cleanse and moisturize my face.  No artist would think to paint a beautiful painting on a dirty canvas!  Step two, moisturize.  If I'm going to be out and about, I use a moisturizer with SPF, like Olay Complete.  Step three, let the moisturizer set for at least 20 minutes.  A moisturizer with SPF could take even longer, but since my skin is normal to dry it tends to soak up the moisturizer pretty quick.  Step four, apply Complexion Rescue.  I've tried doing it with my fingers (ended up using too much), my perfecting face brush (okay but not the best), and ultimately with my Real Techniques buffing brush (winner!).  Step five (and this one is important), wait again for at least 20 minutes so the product can be absorbed.  This step made all the difference!  After 20 minutes, my skin didn't look shiny nor did it feel tacky.  I was able to finish up my makeup in just a few minutes.

The rest of my makeup routine is simple: I put on some powder concealer (I use Bare Minerals Summer Bisque), and finish it off with mineral veil, which is Bare Minerals' finishing powder.  I feel like this is key in helping Complexion Rescue last longer.  After that I can add bronzer, blush, eye makeup, whatever I feel like wearing that day.  Or I can add nothing at all.  It leaves my skin looking and feeling so fresh and youthful, that it can stand alone.

My thoughts on Complexion Rescue:

Pros:  If you have dry skin, this product will be your best friend.  It is so hydrating!  My skin is in love with Complexion Rescue.  It goes on very smoothly, and while it isn't anywhere near full coverage (I would say light to medium at most), it does a great job of hiding my pores, which is a definite plus!  It also lasts - I used it in the morning to go to a bible study class, then came home and cleaned the yard, mowed the grass, and scrubbed the patio floor and furniture.  When I went in to take my shower, I was shocked to see how well my makeup had held up!  I've never looked so pretty while doing yardwork!  It also kept my skin protected, thanks to the SPF of 30 that it contains.

Cons:  If you have oily skin, this product may not be for you.  If you have lots of blemishes or scarring, this product might not be for you.  And, it's pricey - $29 for 1.18 fl. oz.  I waited till I had some points from Ulta so I could get it at a cheaper price, which I'd recommend.

Would I buy Complexion Rescue again?  In a heartbeat!  It's a perfect addition to my makeup routine, one that is good for my skin and makes me feel oh so pretty.  What's not to love?

My Not-So-Restful Saturday

Saturdays are typically busy days.  Finding time to rest on a Saturday is like finding a needle in a haystack - you might find it, but it'll probably hurt.

My boss MM decided to have a women's bible study class at work.  Her husband has been doing a men's bible study group on Thursday night for years, and he's been encouraging her to do the same.  I wasn't sure what to expect, especially since it was supposed to start Saturday morning at 9:30 and end at 11:30.  A two hour bible study?!  Sounded a bit lengthy, but I told her I would go so long as my son's eye was better.

I got up early and E's eye looked almost completely normal, praise the Lord.  There's still some irritation around the inner part of the eye but it's minimal.  I started getting ready but told my daughter I didn't think I'd go very early.  After all, Saturdays are cleaning day, and my yard needed a ton of cleaning!  As I was finishing my breakfast, I was telling my daughter something when we heard the sound of her dad coming.  I can't begin to explain how uncomfortable it becomes in my house when he comes over.  His attitude is one of negativity and complaining; he complains about his health, he complains about his job, he complains about his car, he complains about the kids, yada yada yada.  It's like he sucks the peacefulness out of my home.  He was here for about a half hour, which meant I was late to the bible study class, and quite honestly I wasn't in the best mood.  It's very difficult not to be affected by the atmosphere of negativity.  I could see, though, why God scheduled this bible study when He did.  It wasn't anything new, nothing I hadn't learned from studying God's word on my own, but just being in a room full of ladies who were encouraging, loving, and welcoming, lifted my spirits.  I was annoyed when I got there, but my heart filled up with peace as we prayed for the needs of others and I stopped focusing on myself.  I'll tell you what, when you're praying for the healing of a 12 year old girl with leukemia, all other problems become insignificant.

I left as soon as we finished so that I could attack my backyard.  With homeschooling, work, and everything in between, I hadn't had a chance to tackle the grass.  Add to that several days of on and off rain showers, and my yard was starting to look a bit Amazonian.  I started by clearing some boxes out of the garage - my son had taken a bunch of stuff to the dump, but he worked all day today so I just threw a bunch of stuff in the trash can.  I then had to go to the backyard and pick up several palm fronds and coconuts that had fallen yesterday thanks to the rain and strong winds.  I finally got to actually mowing the lawn, which took about an hour.  I did one side of the front yard, but not the other.  My neighbor on the left was having an open house and I didn't want to get her yard full of grass clippings after she'd cleaned it up.  My neighbor has had her house up for sale for a couple months now, on her own.  The neighbor on her left wanted to buy the house, and it looked like they would get it, but the deal fell through just a few days before closing.  All parties concerned were terribly disappointed, but as I told my neighbor, God must have something better planned.  As I was trimming some plants in the front yard she gave me the news: the house was sold.  I couldn't believe it - she'd only just given the house to her realtor a week ago!  What we found out was, homes in our area sell quickly.  It's a lovely neighborhood, right across the street from a park, the schools are excellent, and there is very little inventory.  Whenever a house goes on the market, it flies.  It'll be sad to say goodbye to them; we moved in at about the same time almost 15 years ago.  But I do understand her position: her marriage crumbled, she works far from the house, and taking care of her kids has become difficult when she spends so much time in traffic (and money on gas).  This is what is best for her family right now, so I know she's making the right choice.

Once I was done with the mowing and trimming, I came inside and ate some fish and chips with sauteed veggies that my daughter prepared before going back outside to clean the patio.  It had gotten so grimy thanks to the branches that had fallen on it last night and all the dirt from the wind and rain, it looked like the house had been abandoned.  I was out there for two hours cleaning, but I can say it looks a whole lot better.

I came inside and decided to heat up some frozen pizzas, which got devoured by my son E and my daughter.  It wasn't until my son R got home from work that I realized the significance of that:  today is 3/14/15, or 3.1415.  That's right, it's Pi Day, and my kids had pizza pie.  I had forgotten about it, so it was completely by chance that it happened the way it did.

Since it's the day before Sunday (and I was a filthy mess) I showered and did my hair.  I told my friend that I liked the Smoothing Therapy shampoo and conditioner except for the fact that they aren't very moisturizing like my OGX shampoo, and she recommended I use my regular shampoo first, then wash it a second time with the Smoothing Therapy.  I must say, it does make a big difference.  My hair feels softer and smoother doing it this way.  There is one thing though: I have to cut my hair.  I haven't cut it since October, and the ends are badly in need of a cut.  I'm gonna see about getting an appointment for this week, since my son is on spring break (Hallelujah!).

It was mani/pedi day as well.  I don't know why, but I find that giving myself a manicure and pedicure is relaxing.  Plus I like the way it looks when I'm done.

That was my day.  I had hoped for a slower paced day, but who was I kidding?  My to-do list was out of control, and needed to be tamed.  There's still plenty to do, but God willing I will make a dent in it this week.  As for now, I say, goodnight.