Sunday, December 28, 2008

a merry little Christmas

Here's part of my Christmas stash. These are the BEST smelling candles! Do you see my iPod shuffle? It's a gift from Bethany and Daniel and they said, "Welcome to the family!" when I opened it. Donald set it all up for me on our itunes account and named it Ruby Red Delight. The lettering above the apple says "We love you mom." Rebekah got me an iTunes card so now I can buy some of my own music. You can bet there will be some "oldies" once I make a purchase. I also got old navy gift cards, shoes (which are pictured below) and lottery tickets! Ben bought each of us two tickets and I won $2.00. This was my first experience with them and I must say it was kinda exciting looking for a win. I also got a picture frame from Hannah that says "I (heart) my dog" and it has a picture of Bright and me in it. I forgot to set it with the other stuff when I took the picture.

Bright opened the first present cause he's always so excited on Christmas morning. Bethany decorated him with bows once he finally took a breather.

Christmas punch!

This isn't a gift, but a picture of my favorite salad dressing...Briannas Blush Wine Vinaigrette. It does look rather Christmasy though.

I enlisted the boys and Donald's help yesterday and took down the Christmas tree. It's always rather sad to take it down, but I was ready to get the book shelf out of our hall. As you can see it's rather crowded with the shelf, and Christmas boxes, and Ben who left the table after our Christmas meal moaning and falling in the floor. Either the meal was very good and he ate too much or else it wasn't and it made him sick. I'll leave that up to your imagination. Anyway it's nice to have the hall cleared once again. Ben recovered by the way and was ready for the next meal.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

a gift for me

I'm still around; catching myself coming as I'm going. Hannah had her wisdom teeth out last week, we had unexpected company this weekend, and now I'm trying to get Christmas stuff together. I'm hoping I don't have to go to the store three times for our Christmas meal like I did for our Thanksgiving one.

I just got back from purchasing our last Christmas present and I actually bought myself a gift. I really don't buy myself that many things so I always get cheers from my family when I do. Today I bought two pairs of earrings! Together they cost $45.00 plus tax. They were on sale 60% off and I had a $10.00 off coupon so I paid $8.66 for both pairs. I toyed with wrapping them up for myself for tomorrow morning (To:Sarah - From:Sarah), but of course I showed them to Bethany as soon as I saw her. I wonder if she'll act surprised if I put them under the tree for me??

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

do not pass go, do not collect $200

I'm not sure if I have writer's block or just not enough time to post. I definitely have things I could say, but I kinda said I wouldn't rant unless some unforeseen problem arose. Well, it arose this past Saturday. Hannah's phone wouldn't all. After a quick call to Sprint they said we had requested the line be cancelled~! I was really annoyed and told them the whole story...the same one I told you, and asked why I would cancel it after going to all that trouble. Their next question was, "Did your husband cancel it?" After assuring them he didn't and going through all the steps to get it reactivated it worked. The more I thought about it the angrier I got. I emailed them and actually got a reply that it was a technical error and they gave me a $50.00 credit on account of the inconvenience. Let's see: 15 hours of my time, not counting the trip to and from the Sprint store in Sherman. It equals about $3.33 an hour for my time spent. I truly believe my time is more valuable than that. If they would give me free service for the next ten years, well, maybe that would cover it.

Hannah had her wisdom teeth out Tuesday. The pain medication is making her dizzy so she isn't able to move around a lot. She did really well though and we are really proud of her. She actually had six wisdom teeth. Four on the top and two on the bottom. The x-rays didn't show them because they were behind the ones in front. They actually gave them to me and when Hannah wants to see what has caused her all this pain I'll be ready to show her. I guess the extra teeth justified the extra charges and they felt I needed to see exactly what I was paying for.

I had a couple of cysts removed from my scalp this afternoon. It was rather a jolly time in the "procedure room" as the new nurse was eagerly anticipating the doctor being able to pop the boogers out. The doctor even got in on the fun and proudly announced it was a boy! They are called pilar cysts and are rather common, and I'm assuming, a lot of fun for the doctors and nurses. I've actually had several removed before and could tell them with all honesty that this time was the most fun I've ever had having it done. He even showed it to me and cut it into so I could see what was inside. Now I'll go take some Tylenol and be good as new.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Can you believe this weather?? Yesterday I considered turning the air conditioner on. Today when I came out from putting up my cards at Kroger my van was iced over. I mean really iced! Iced so well that my ice scrapper didn't do any good. I think I needed an ice pick instead. I finally got the windows defrosted enough I could get some ice off to see to drive to Brookshires. After I left there I had to repeat the procedure. Fast forward a few hours and I repeated these actions again after leaving Walmart. My wipers, doors, and windows all froze. Tonight I am staying inside. I am anticipating a hot bath and crawling under our electric blanket to watch the Mavs.

Today while working for Hallmark I had a gentleman ask me if I could help him find a card. He needed a particular card for a particular person and a particular age. It was really neat that I could take him right to it. A few months ago I cringed when someone asked me for help as I hadn't learned the locations of the cards yet. Now I am much more familiar with what I have and where it is. I was thinking about this and how I can help those I encounter in my little part of the world.

You see we really can have an effect on people. I had someone lift my spirits and encourage me right before Thanksgiving. I was entering the store for the third day in a row just to prepare our Thanksgiving meal. I really was dreading it because the day before people were frowning, hurrying, and blocking the aisles at every turn. I really didn't want to be there again. As I entered the store a lady smiled at me. Not your ordinary smile but an encouraging beautiful smile that said she really was enjoying life. I stopped and thanked her for her smile. She seemed to really appreciate my thanks. I know she certainly changed my attitude and affected my life with that simple gesture.

All this to say that we can make a difference in some one's day no matter how small a role we have. Just a smile can make a huge difference to someone. I know it did to me.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

high and dry

Hannah's friend, Sara, got her a hermit crab for her birthday. I keep asking her if it's dead cause it just doesn't do much. It will just bury itself in the rocks and stay there. I honestly didn't know they weren't attached to their shell and that as they grow you buy bigger shells for them. That's the neat thing about life...we can learn something new every day!

The other day they were holding him (her?) over a bowl of warm water trying to get him to come out of his shell. I think the motive was to give him a bath. They never got him to come out. He would almost be out and then pull back into the shell. I assume he's still needing a bath.

Anyway as I was unloading the dishwasher this morning I was thinking about it. They only wanted to help and he was so into what he wanted (I do NOT want to come out and play, er, take a bath) that he kept pulling back. Now he would venture out and almost be there, but then he'd draw back into his shell.

How many times do we do God that way? He has something so wonderful for us and we are just too afraid to trust Him. We are so focused on ourselves and what we want, or in this case, don't want, that we miss the blessing He has for us. I'm afraid I've done the exact thing far too many times. Probably because I was focused on me: I don't want to do that, I don't have time to do that, I can't do that, it's probably just "me," and the list goes on.

On a lighter note, our friend Eddie, made the front page of our newspaper. Check it out at Eddie, will you sign my book again if I bring it to your book signing?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

uh oh

We are going through the book "Who Can You Trust?" by Howard E. Butt in our Sunday School class. When we first started it I wasn't sure I was really going to like it that much. I can honestly say that I do. It has been the foundation for much discussion among our class.

Some of the statements he made and we discussed from our last lesson are...

Living is forgiving.

Jesus teaches us to make forgiveness a central part of our character.

and my favorite...

To function without forgiving others is to settle for something less than life.

How many of us strive to live a Christ-filled life with bitterness in our hearts??

Matthew 6:14-15 (God's Word translation)
"If you forgive the failures of others, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you don't forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failures."

Matthew 7:2 (NIV)
For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
These verses aren't usually we ones we hang on our refrigerator, but are truth none the less. Think about them.

Friday, December 5, 2008

in my Father's lap

I've really felt stressed out and unsettled the last few days. (If you've read my blog you know why.) I think I have used so much emotional energy I'm left feeling drained and depleted. I've found myself getting frustrated and irritated at things that usually don't ruffle my feathers so to speak. I can remember living like this MOST of the time years back and I'm certain I don't want to go back there. So I'm taking a time out for myself. We used to give our kids time-outs and they just had to sit somewhere and be still and quiet and settle down. I think that's on my "necessary for my sanity" list today.

You really wouldn't like to be around me when I enter this unhappy spot. I'm irritable, angry, frustrated, and want to scream at something or someone. In fact, I think I already have this morning because I had to repeat my request FOUR times before it was heeded. I think I screamed something like, "Do it, make me happy." Even our dog, Bright, looked startled. You have to remember he didn't live with me in my former life.

So I needed a word from God. My friend Nancy and I were talking about crawling up in God's lap and staying long enough for Him to hold us and love on us just yesterday. I need to do that today.

I already have a word to dwell on while He holds me. I John 3:18-21....

My dear children, let's not just talk about love; let's practice real love.
This is the only way we'll know we're living truly, living in God's reality.
It's also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. And friends, once that's taken care of and we're no longer accusing or condemning ourselves, we're bold and free before God!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

can you hear me now???

I hate it when I let my emotions control me like I have the past week. I have been CONSUMED with getting Hannah's phone fixed. It's bad enough it didn't work, but because it was her birthday present it made it worse.

I could go on and on about the hours we spent, the time we spent, the frustration we experienced... I should just be glad it is fixed. And I am. But I am also angry that I had to spend that much time and effort on something that should have been discovered and fixed early on. Of course I want to say they should never have given her someones number that is still in use. Imagination my confusion when the person helping me on the phone yesterday had me call Hannah's number to see if it was fixed and someone else answered~! I finally got my wits together and asked her if such and such number was hers because it had been given to us on our new line. She said yes, it was, and had been for several years. Not only that but they had given her number to someone before!

The person at the cell phone company waiting for me to call to see if it was working didn't believe me. I asked if she had another phone available and she said she did so I asked her to call the number they had given Hannah, and by the way, the lady's name is Mrs. Foreman. In a few minutes she got back on line with me and promptly issued Hannah another number. And guess what??? It works~! I'm still not sure how or why she was able to call out and send and receive text messages on another person's line, but it happened. And I was told that never happened. I told her, yes, actually the lady said they had done it before!

Now I understand mistakes happen and that's okay. What's not okay is that it took 7 days, over 15 hours, and a 3 1/2 hour wait in one of their stores in which we left with the same problem. If they had only canceled the line and given her another like they were supposed to (that was finally the suggestion they offered while we waited at the store) it would have been taken care of. But someone DELETED the order and it was never done.

I am going to write a letter to the company and tell them how disappointed I am in their "service" to be sure. And unless some unforeseen problem arises with the situation I promise not to rant about Hannah's Rant any more. You have my word.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

never EVER give up

Finally Hannah's cell phone is working~!

They had given her someone else's number~! Go figure. I still don't understand why she could make calls and send and receive text messages on someone else's number. For the record I have spent 15 hours on the phone, in the store, or on on-line chat with them. Also made a trip out of town and got a new phone. They kept saying it was her phone and I needed to send it in for repair or exchange. Maybe this headache will go away now.

finding magic

I went to bed early last night. It seems all the dealings with the phone company and sinus pressure caught up with me. My head hurt! I lay on our bed and finished watching a show and started channel surfing. It seems my husband's habit has rubbed off on me. Except for watching part of the shows I just go the main menu and find a couple of things I like and go back and forth between the two. At 8:00 I returned to the menu and found that the Dallas Mavericks were already playing. I didn't know they were on (honestly Connie and Eddie, I didn't know).

The LA Clippers have acquired Baron Davis and Zach Randolph and have a pretty darn good team which their record doesn't reflect. They led the whole game until the last minutes. One of my favorites, J.J. Barea, made a three pointer to give them the surge they needed. They won 100-98~!

Even though I love basketball I'm really more of a people fan. If I like a player or coach I get upset when they get traded. Take Avery Johnson for example. I loved Avery as their coach. He took them to the playoffs a couple of times and because they didn't win the title they axed him. I got mad! I haven't even given Rick Carlisle, their new coach, much thought (other than I'd rather have Avery than him). I know that's pretty childish as it wasn't his fault Avery left, but back to my story. Last night after the game I was watching the post game show and they interviewed him. He made this remark, "For a four-minute stretch we caught lightning in a bottle and found some magic.''

I'm afraid I may have been wrong not to give him the benefit of the doubt. Anyone who can talk like that is pretty great. Welcome aboard, Rick.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

on a rant

Someone had the bright idea to get Hannah her very own cell phone for her birthday. Was that really my idea? Bethany helped me and we picked her out a red Samsung Rant. Well, I must say I have been ranting every since. You see, her cell phone won't ring...she can call you, and you can text her and she can text you, but you can't CALL her. It goes straight to voicemail.

Hannah and I have spent about 10 hours on the phone or online chat with the company. We have taken out the battery, refreshed it, powered it off and on, gone into the menu settings to no avail. Finally they tell me it must be the phone because everything is perfect on their end. So tonight we run over to Sherman to the corporate phone store. She gives us a new phone and it still won't ring. So she spends a few hours on line with the same people we have talked to the past 5 days. They go through their list of things to try and it still won't work. She gives up and is about to send us home when my wonderful husband pulls a "Sarah" on me. He tells her we will only be going backwards if we take the cell phone back home not working and will she please do whatever it takes to get it fixed, NOW BEFORE WE LEAVE. It is five minutes before their closing time, but by this time we have been there 3 hours and we just want it FIXED PLEASE. Finally she gets someone on the phone that tells her he has NEVER heard of that happening and it must be the line. Okay, now it's not the service on their end, it's not the phone, so it must be the line. So we cancel the line and wait for it to come through on the computer showing it has been cancelled so we can add a new line and try the phone on it. The lady told her it usually is taken care of in a few minutes but could take up to 12 hours. We wait twenty minutes or so and it still shows we have the line on our family plan. We have to wait for the phone service to go off before we can try again with another line. By now it's almost 10:00 and an hour past their closing time. We decide to head for the house and deal with it later. Well, it's 12:30 in the morning and it's still on. aaarrrghhhh!

So now tomorrow, er..I mean today, I have to call them again and waste more of my valuable time trying to get phone service that will actually let someone CALL you~! What is the world coming to when phones won't ring???

Hannah, I'm so very sorry for this negative post. We WILL get it worked out SOMEDAY~!