Tuesday, November 27

Lost & Not Found

Little Chic had a half-day of school today for parent teacher conferences, but since Brainy Boy is classified as middle school, he had to go the full day. This is a new occurrence this year, and one that Brainy Boy isn't taking to so much. Little Chic and I decided to take advantage of the rare few hours together so we had lunch and then made a run to Walmart supplies for an upcoming school project.

Little Chic decided to take along her purse, containing a hard-earned $24 that she has been saving. She had her eye on some new Webkinz, so she decided this was the day to shop. We made a stop in to Hallmark and picked up one stuffed animal, then headed on to Walmart for the school supplies. Like many 10-year-olds, Little Chic is not always the most organized, and she plopped her purse, containing her remaining $14 in the cart beside mine. As luck would have it, when I emptied the cart and returned it to the cart park, I didn't realize her purse was still in the shopping cart. We were on our way to the second Webkinz stop when she realized it was missing. We swung back around to Walmart and the parking lot, but cart guys were already wheeling the carts inside. We looked in all we could find with no luck. We took a run into the Customer Service counter, but at that point, nobody had turned in the purse.

The purse is a favorite of hers as Muh Main Man bought it for her after a long-ago business trip, so she was more upset about the purse than the money. That and the fact that I had pity on her and took some of the blame. So I replaced the $14. I'm a sucker like that.

Anyway, we imagined that maybe the money will go into the hands of somebody who really needs it and maybe it's God's way of blessing somebody who's hungry. Although admittedly they'd have to steal it to get the blessing. So it probably doesn't count. But we won't talk about that.

Anyway, we'd really like the purse back, even if it's empty. Here's hoping...

Sunday, November 25

Home, Happy Home

We're back from our blast to Thanksgiving in Texas. This is how we looked there. It's not how we look today, believe me. I'll be posting all the juicy details later, but first we wanted to throw out a big "hang in there" to my brother and his family who did their own traveling to a family Thanksgiving in Indiana. While there, they witnessed his in-laws having a very serious car accident. Thankfully God was watching over them and it wasn't fatal, but their recovery will be long and difficult. Also thankfully, my brother, along with his kids and wife, were following the Grandma & Grandpa, so none of them were in the involved vehicle. We love you guys!

Friday, November 16

Thursday, November 15

Sisters by Chance, Friends by Choice

My little sister is who I want to be when I grow up. We haven't lived near one another for any of our adult lives, but when we are together, we are remarkably alike. I remember once when I went to visit her, I found half a dozen items scattered through her house that were identical to items in mine. It was weird. And cool at the same time. Though we have similar fashion taste, she's the only one who ever wears fashionable. I err too much on the soccer mom practical side. But after being with her, I always promise myself I'm gonna spiff up and I hit the stores trying to mimic what she was wearing. She also has the creative flair that I got shorted. I decided to start digital scrap booking. I totally could not figure it out, so I never got off the ground. She actually started and has the most awesome layouts you've ever seen.

She did this one of us the other day, and it made me cry. She said exactly what I've said to Muh Main Man a million times over. The layout is hers, not mine, and the credits are here.
She is going to be published in the April/May 2008 issue of Digital Scrapbooking magazine, so hop on over and tell her that her layouts are pretty. It would really make her feel good if you confirm that she was even more stylish than me way back then.

Tuesday, November 13

LOVING WELL, with Beth Moore

Girls, I've got a treat for you this time. Guys, don't take off; I'll catch you on the bottom side of the post...

Lots of you are familiar with Beth Moore. If you're not, your missing a chance to know your best girlfriend. Beth is a gifted speaker and writer who is known for her ability to get to the heart of the Scriptures and tell you in plain, every day language just exactly what it means to you. And she does it in a "Girl, I gotta-tell-ya-because-I-love-ya" kind of way. She's also known for her in-depth Bible studies and video seminars that are practical for both women and men.

The video seminar I just got though, beats all. It is called Loving Well, and is different from anything Beth has done so far. It is geared toward a weekend ladies retreat rather than her usual in-depth, time-committed studies. It's called a "Retreat in a Box", sort of like those bed-in-a-bag things you see at JC Penny. The kit comes with everything you need to have a spiritually-geared girls weekend. It's complete with a leader's guide, all the videos, a bunch of ice breakers and games, some promotion posters with 48 invitation postcards and best of all....a cute little tote bag in the lime green motif to carry it all!
When I opened the box, of course I immediately grabbed out the tote and loaded all the stuff in it. I had to just admire the cuteness of it for a while before I broke open the actual goods. The leader's guide is a concise little "how-to" manual that takes you through a suggested schedule and tells you what helpers you might need to put a weekend together. You can easily follow the directions even if you've never organized so much as a birthday party. There is a journal that goes along with the study that the participants use for about six weeks after the seminar to follow up on the topic of the retreat. She also includes a CD-Rom with all sorts of print resources and advertising material. To help you get the word out, there is a short promotion video on the DVD that you can show to get all your girls begging to be invited. The entire package retails for $99 and that's a bargain if you've ever shopped around for video seminars. You can get it here, and I suggest that you dash over before all the smart girls deplete the inventory.

Now, I did the videos in a the second suggested format. I used the DVDs in my Sunday School class and since the videos range from 37 to 50 minutes, they fit perfectly in our alloted time slot. There are four sessions, so we covered them nicely in a month. The topic was so popular that we had women come from other Sunday School classes for the four-week session and I have three other leaders begging to be the next one to borrow the DVDs for their own studies. If you use the weekend format, you'll watch one video on Friday night and the three remaining ones throughout the morning and afternoon on Saturday.

The best part of the entire package is definitely the topic of the seminar. It's called Loving Well, based on I John, Chapter 4. The premise is that you can't properly love others until you've been loved well by God first. Beth hits home the point that as Christians, we are called to especially love those who are difficult to love, and that God wants to provide the key to doing just that. The topic is rich and effective and would be great for men and women both other than the fact that she is specifically talking to "us girls" and you guys might get a little tired of hearing us all giggle over "girl stuff."

So here's where you come in, Guys....take the kids to Grandma's for the weekend, hire Merry Maids to spiff up your house (I'm sure it doesn't even need spiffed) and instruct your ladies to invite a dozen friends over for a little weekend getaway at your place. They'll thank you for it because they'll be able to start

Saturday, November 10

Barely Minimum

Muh Main Man bought a snowmobile this week. We've He's been dreaming of owning a sled, and one practically fell into his lap. He's been watching the skies all week, waiting for some promised flurries to make their way to the ground so he could take it for a trial run. We got the snow this morning. Is it just me, or is this what would qualify as barely enough to be called a snowfall ?! The important thing is that we look good on it :)

Friday, November 9

I Love It When the Chips Fall In My Favor

Although my local Sam's Club didn't make me feel special in my gift-toting dilemma, Bath & Body Works has come to the rescue. Now, I am not generally a coupon maven. Not that I'm all un-frugal or anything. I'm just allergic to hassle. I tend to forget to clip the coupon, or more likely, once I clip it, I forget to bring it along. Or I get there with the coupon and there are all these limit on it. Limits aren't my thing so I'm not the champion cents saver in that sort of way. I'm more of a sales type of girl.

But then.

Into my mailbox came a $10 off a $30 purchase from Bath & Body works. The fine print didn't say anything about regular purchases or excluding this-n-that, so I've clutched it to my bosom since the day it fluttered it's paper wings into my mailbox. So I'd have it when I needed it. You know how those needs just pop up sometimes like that. Anyway, I decided I needed it today. For some stocking stuffers for others. And for some scent-a-ma-thingies for myself. I use them in my outlets because I'm a smell freak. I smell things sometimes and if it's not good...well, let's just say I'll dig high & low to figure out where the smell is coming from. But back to the coupon.

Not only did the lovely Bath & Body works let me buy all sorts of 75% and 50% and special $3 items to add up to my $30 (so I could get the $10 off) they also rewarded me with a $10 gift certificate for spending $20. Apparently I'm highly motivated by rewards because I'm going back over tonight to spend the $10. And to get the free lip balm which also came delivered into my mailbox via a nice little coupon.

Excuse me while I get to clipping...because now I've decided to clip.

Thursday, November 8

I'd Like to Thank the Academy...

I'm so excited because I won something! I never win anything! But I won the American Pastime Collection from Channel Craft. It came from Patriot over at Made in the USA blog, so I'm psyched!! I should have it in about two weeks, so it'll be here in plenty of time to tuck into some lucky body's stocking for Christmas!

Ahead of Myself in a Desperate Sort of Way

Thanksgiving is in a mere two weeks from today and generally that's not cause for alarm. But this year it is. We are traveling to see family for Thanksgiving and Clever Sister thought it would be a great idea to exchange gifts while we are together. I thought so too when she first suggested it. Two weeks ago. Since then, I've been scrambling to do in a few weeks what usually takes me a few months. Namely, shop for unique and creative gifts for each member of my family. I was a bit smug and self-satisfied last week when I scored gifts for all the little ones in one fell swoop at Target. I was particularly excited to see how the Aqua Dots would work once little niece opens them up. But Plan B has yet again reared its ugly head. A mere 18 hours ago, NextDoorNeighbor emailed me a story about how Aqua Dots were being pulled off the shelves. Being the Snopes hog that I am, I looked at the link and Googled a few articles. Nothing much came up so I figured the information source wasn't reliable. So I deleted the email.

Fast forward to 10:00pm last night when apparently the mainstream media got a hold of the story that Aqua Dots are apparently coated with a dangerous chemical and will kill your kid if they eat them. Which they might since they are all colorful-like and stuff. So this morning, not only is the story all over the media but the internet is almost devoid of pictures and links to the toy that was supposed to be a hot item this Christmas season. How'd they do that so fast?!

Anywhooo, I'm going tuck my tail between my legs (as if it will fit) and dash back to Target to see what's the next best thing. And it's probably not going to be something creative and unique. But oh, well.

Wednesday, November 7

Argh

I found something at Sam's Club that I want to buy for Christmas. It needs to go with me to TX at Thanksgiving time. I tried to order it online but it said you can only get it in club. So I went in club, just like they told me to. Yes I did. The thing turns out to be too big to take on the airplane along with the other myriad items that we'll be taking along for a week long trip. Plus early Christmas. It's also too big to mail at a reasonable rate.

So I go to the nice customer service man and ask if I can pay for it but just pick it up at the Sam's Club in TX. He says he's sure I can. He calls his manger who says it's just not possible. Nice Customer Service Guy is looking at me with a perturbed look that says his manager is not cooperating. Of course he isn't. He even suggests to his manager that perhaps a different manager would be able to "make it work." Manager did not appreciate this and Nice Customer Service Guy apologized to me, but decided to save his job. For which I did not blame him.

And so.

I will be calling TX Sam's Club to see if perhaps they will let me place an order over the phone. If not, my mom will be trotting over to buy her own Christmas gift. And that just won't do.

Monday, November 5

House Meme

I don't do these very often, but every once in a while, there's a bit of "get to know ya" that can be accomplished, so here ya go...

House meme:

1. What kind of soap is in your bathtub right now? Equate moisturizing shower soap.
2. Do you have any watermelon in your refrigerator? No
3. What would you change about your living room? I'd put in hardwoods.
4. Are the dishes in your dishwasher clean or dirty? Dirty, and waiting to be run.
5. What is in your fridge? Besides food? A package of anti-barf suppositories and a jar of fake cucumbers for your eyes that are over a year old(that I keep contents for both ends of your body in the same place, huh?)
6. White or wheat bread? Usually wheat but Muh Main Man has been begging for Italian so I've been indulging ;)
7. What is on top of your refrigerator? A wicker basket containing our phone book.
8. What color or design is on your shower curtain? Sort of a tan with a purple and green flower motif.
9. How many plants are in your home? 3 and they are new, so we'll see how long they last.
10. Is your bed made right now? Yes, but not neatly.
11. Comet or Soft Scrub? Comet
12. Is your closet organized? All except for my shoes.
13. Can you describe your flashlight? My husband is an emergency responder. Which means we each have at least three. Even the kids. The closest are a yellow one and a green one. The weirdest are those ones you shake up to regenerate their batteries.
14. Do you drink out of glass or plastic most of the time at home? Disposable if I have them on hand, out of the can if I'm drinking soda and glass is my last resort because I wash them by hand.
15. Do you have iced tea made in a pitcher right now? Never.
16. If you have a garage, is it cluttered? That's Muh Main Man's area and it's a disaster. But we won't talk about that.
17. Curtains or blinds? Only valances. I live in the country and like my windows bare.
18. How many pillows do you sleep with? One big one.
19. Do you sleep with any lights on at night? Night light in the kids' bathroom and the kitchen counter spotlight.
20. How often do you vacuum? I Swiffer vac the kitchen every day or so and about twice a week every where else.
21. Standard toothbrush or electric? Standard
22. What color is your toothbrush? Green
23. Do you have a welcome mat on your front porch? Yeah, but it doesn't say welcome. It's for the dirt.
24. What is in your oven right now? The roaster pan thing that comes with most ovens.
25. Is there anything under your bed? Oh, yeah. 2 Rubbermaid sweater boxes full of Muh Main Man's CDs on his side plus two wicker baskets on my side full of the books I'm reading.
26. Chore you hate doing the most? Laundry and dusting.
27. What retro items are in your home? None
28. Do you have a separate room that you use as an office? Kind of a balcony where our computers are.
29. How many mirrors are in your home? 4.
30. Do you have any hidden emergency money around your home? If I did, I wouldn't tell you. But, no.
31. What color are your walls? Many colors. Brainy Boys are yellow/blue. Little Chic's are aqua. The dining room is gold/red, living room is taupe and moss green and the rest is white.
32. Do you keep any kind of protection weapons in your home? Remember, Muh Main Man? He hunts. So, we have lots of long guns. Plus he's on the SWAT team. So he has a pistol. It's loaded. So do not sneak into my house. I will shoot you. After I get the gun out of the safe. Which is complicated. Because you have to put your fingers on the finger pad just so...
33. What does your home smell like right now? Asian Stir Fry (yes, I cooked. From scratch).
34. Favorite candle scent? Pear, cucumber, fresh fruity scents.
35. What kind of pickles (if any) are in your refrigerator right now? Lime pickles.
36. What color is your favorite Bible? Green hardcover
37. Ever been on your roof? No, but my kids have.
38. Do you own a stereo? No. A boat load of radios.
39. How many TVs do you have? 2
40. How many house phones? 2 cordless because our cells don't work at home.
41. Do you have a housekeeper? If I could justify it.
42. What style do you decorate in? Kind of eclectic.
43. Do you like solid colors in furniture or prints? Solid
44. Is there a smoke detector in your home? Muh Main Man is also a fireman, so yes.
45. In case of fire, what are the items in your house which you’d grab if you only could make one quick trip? After the people and pets, I'd grab my computer (for the pics) and my fire safe with our documents in it.

Saturday, November 3

CAUGHT in the Act!!

I've already tired of the role of Candy Police in the aftermath of Halloween and frankly, it's just become easier to eat the loot myself rather than to continually monitor the intake of the Short People. I was trying to be as inconspicuous as possible and my sneaking was advancing tolerably well. It became more difficult once I made Little Chic sort through and discard anything she didn't like. What was I thinking?! Add to that fact that we both like the same things, and it's become Mission Impossible, People.

So I was rummaging through her bag the other day before she got home from school, looking for something that I like that she wouldn't miss immediately. There was nothing in that category. My next step was to look for something that she really shouldn't have anyway. I settled for the regular-sized bag of M&Ms and left the more appropriate-sized mini bag for her. I devoured the thing and promptly forgot all about it. That night after dinner, we all heard a wail coming from the vicinity of the Halloween candy bag. Little Chic was furiously upset that Somebody had eaten the full-sized bag of M&Ms that she was intentionally saving for Just. This. Moment. The worst part about it was that all of us were assembled together in full view of the guilty party. Brainy Boy was sitting there looking all bewildered and innocent-like. Muh Main Man was sitting there, half wondering if it was DogSpot since it surely couldn't be ME since I'm on the last leg of a quest to lose a few more pounds before Thanksgiving. I was sitting there wondering how I was going to bluff my way out of this one. In the end, there was just no bluffing to be done. And I'm usually a champion bluffer. I came clean, admitted that I ate them and promised to immediately buy her another package. It worked out well that I was heading for the drug store at that moment to pick up a prescription. Otherwise I would have been heading there just for the candy.

I dashed to the store, and inadvertently picked up the new Ogre-sized M&Ms to replace the ones I had eaten. Now, why couldn't the ones in the Halloween bag have been Ogre-sized to make all my shame and humiliation a little more worth it ?!

Thursday, November 1

Halloween Pictures



Here are the Halloween pictures of Little Chic who was dressed as Chinese Royalty (in her own description). Blogger was having issues this morning so they couldn't go with the post they belonged to. And yes, I did the hairdo myself. Even the teal highlights. While I was sick. Just call me "Super-woman."

MaMa's Alive, But Not Well

The winter ick has hit me, but luckily has spared the Short People thus far. The world doesn't stop for sick moms as you know, so fall activities and Halloween have carried on as scheduled. I have indulged in some moping around the house in between all the bustle so I am surviving just fine.

The highlight of the week was last night, of course, with even DogSpot succumbing to the peer pressure to celebrate. Brainy Boy would have none of the nonsense, but told Little Chic she could bring him back a treat or two if she so desired. She was happy to oblige as it added a benevolent excuse to do the Trick-or-Treat ritual. Pictures will be forthcoming once Blogger sorts out its issues.