I feel like I'm starting off the week right. I'm getting back into my groove. It's a good way to start the week, especially on the day everyone hates.
I woke up once in the middle of the night, and prayed that God would take any unnecessary thoughts out of my head so I could go back to sleep. It worked. I dozed off till 6:00. I got up at 7:00, after spending some time with the Lord, and got my day started. My cousin was bringing the kids over today, since there's no school (Martin Luther King Jr. day). I figured they'd be here between 8:30 and 9:00, so I had to get moving. I had already decided what we were gonna have for lunch/dinner: spaghetti with meat sauce, breadsticks, and salad. I needed to get the sauce in the crock pot early. I don't care for sauce in a jar, so I make my own. It's so simple, yet so much better (and healthier) than anything in the stores, and it takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. A couple cans of crushed tomatoes, garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, one dried bay leaf, sofrito (made with onion, green pepper, garlic and cilantro), olive oil, salt and pepper. Throw all the ingredients in the crock pot, and in 3 hours you have sauce. Done. The meat gets added later. For breakfast, I decided to make pancakes. I like buttermilk pancakes, again from scratch, because in my opinion they are just as easy to make as the boxed version, only they don't taste like a cardboard box. I made a batch, along with bacon, Oh, my kids love me, and now you know why.
As I was finishing whipping up our breakfast, the kids arrived. They were actually late; it was after 9:00 when their dad dropped them off. They brought bags of cereal that they had for breakfast, as we sat down to our pancakes. Once I got the dishes in the sink the kids immediately asked to play a board game. They brought Monopoly Jr., which they'd gotten for Christmas. Over the summer I babysat them everyday, and we played at least 2 board games daily. They loved coming over to my house because I took the time to play with them and teach them games. I believe board games are so much better than video games; they're more interactive, and require more thinking. While video games can be good for motor skills, so can card games. The best part is, with board games you're looking at your opponent in the eye, rather than at a television screen. I'm not opposed to video games; I just think there's better stuff out there. So we played a game of Monopoly Jr. (totally fun), then my son R came out and started playing on his Wii U. And they were gone. For the next 2 hours. Oh well, at least I was able to keep them focused for a little while.
I took advantage of those 2 hours and got some cleaning done. Yesterday, as I was folding laundry, I tried to plug a light into the wall and accidentally knocked down my Dyson vacuum cleaner, the one that's been out of commission for the past few weeks. I'd tried taking it apart to figure out why it wouldn't stand upright or work properly, but to no avail, so I had it in my room as I tried to decide whether to get it fixed or not. As I picked it up to put it back where I'd had it, I realized what the problem was. A piece, conveniently located right in front of another piece that I had taken apart and put back together, was out of place. I moved it back to where it was supposed to go, and voila! The vacuum cleaner was upright again. Since it was already late at night I hadn't tested it, but I did try it out today. It works like a dream. To think I'd done so much to try and fix it, yet in one split second it was up and running. All I could do was shake my head.
My daughter stayed home from work today. Her throat is sore, her voice is gone, she had a low grade fever, and her sinuses are hurting. Sounds just like what her brother had. The good thing is that she's been able to nap during the day. The bad thing is, she's gotta work tomorrow. Hopefully she'll feel better in the morning.
After cleaning up I browned the ground beef and added it to the sauce, then made the breadsticks and spaghetti. I like Pillsbury breadsticks; they taste good and are less messy to make. As I was pulling the salad fixings out of the fridge, the kid's mom came and brought them pizza. It's easy to see what their favorite food is: they went at it like piranhas. I made the salad with a few sweet peppers from my garden, and my one lone tomato which had finally turned red. It was a tiny little thing, but it packed a lot of sweetness! I'm hoping it won't be the only tomato I get from that plant.
As I sat down to eat my lunch I took a look at the Bare Escentuals website to see about my order. I hadn't gotten an email yet but I kind of hoped there would be an update about it shipping (there wasn't). What I did see that caught my eye: 10% off everything on their website, and free shipping. Why do they do this to me??? It's like they knew there was something I'd wanted to order but hadn't, so they enticed me with an incredible offer. I have to admit, I debated back and forth whether to place the order or not. I went through my makeup, reviewed my budget, and ultimately I got it. It's a set of 5 eyeliners in different colors: bronze, green, taupe, plum, and gold. This set normally sells for $29; one Lasting Line eyeliner on its own sells for $16. This particular set was already on sale for $13; with the discount and tax I ended up paying just over $12. That's about $2.50 per pencil. I couldn't let a deal like that slip away! Besides, I currently have 2 black eyeliners and 3 brown ones. I also have one called Forever Brandy, which is a sort of burgundy/purple shade. One of the brown ones is a bronze color, but that would be the only repeat. I'm excited about having pencils in different colors because, at my age, black is harsh against my skin. I'll still wear it, because I love black eyeliner, but it's too dramatic for anything other than special occasions. Lighter colors are more flattering, and these colors will be a perfect fit.
As I was putting the lunch dishes in the dishwater, I asked my 8 year old niece if she'd gotten homework over the weekend. She said that she had, and that she'd done all of it except for Reading Plus. Reading Plus is a computer program the kids in public school use to improve their reading skills. She knew she was supposed to do Reading Plus at my house, but she hadn't mentioned it to me. When I asked her about it, she said, "I was going to tell you." Uh-huh. Like 5 minutes before her grandma picked her up? Yeah, right kid. I had her sit down and get to work. She could have finished quickly, but she's so easily distracted! Her brothers played on their tablets to keep them quietly occupied (as if it's possible to keep two little boys ages 5 and 7 quiet), and she was almost done by the time her grandma came to get them. It was sad for me to see their grandma; she had been grandma Maria's primary caretaker for almost 30 years. Her mother had helped her raise her daughter, and she in turn had cared for her mother in her declining years. While she smiles and loves on her grandkids, there's definitely a sadness in her eyes, and I'm sure an empty spot in her heart. We all know grandma Maria is with Jesus and she's no longer suffering. It's the one comforting thought we have.
Once they were gone I fed Molly, then went to the front yard to trim some trees and bushes that were getting overgrown thanks to last week's rains. Tomorrow is trash day, so I wanted to get as much debris inside the garbage tank as could fit. I filled it up but good! It took me an hour but thankfully the weather has been superb, in the low 70's with a nice breeze, so yard work was actually pleasant. I had my dinner and rested a bit before taking my shower. I cleaned up, picked up, and now I can try and plan tomorrow's school day. Honestly, I have no clue what we're gonna be doing. E has finished all his assignments; unless there's something he needs to change or correct, he's done, but he has 2 days of school this week. I'm pretty sure his teachers won't be having any live lessons, since they have to finish grading everyone's final exams. I'm waiting to see if I get any emails from his teachers, otherwise we're gonna have to figure something out. Shouldn't be too hard, right?...
With that I will bid everyone a good night, sweet dreams, rest well, and remember, Jesus loves you.
The Wonder of Christmas
3 hours ago