Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008!!!

As most of you already know, we had Thanksgiving at our house this year. We were initially going to have Mexican food, but the day before we changed our minds to have the traditional Thankgiving Day meal. We're glad we did!

We had a wonderful time with my family (Mom and two sisters and my sister's husband and their 3 children) coming over.

We had lots of food and LOTS of leftovers! Our menu included; ham, turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, macaroni & cheese, brocolli cheese casserole, rolls, sweet potato pie with candied pecans, and Italian Cream Cake.

You know that I have to share a couple of details here...

I have been meaning to make this Italian Cream Cake after seeing it at Kroger many weeks ago. I had picked it up at Kroger to try it out. It looked delicious! However, because I am cheap and after seeing that 2 small pieces (that's how it was packaged) was going to cost me $2.79, I put it back, saying to myself that I'd make it myself for that much. lol! I remember coming home that night and surfing the net to find a recipe for it. I printed it and left it sitting on my dresser for about a month. Anyhow, I decided to make it as one of our desserts for Thanksgiving. It was FABULOUS! Oh my goodness! However, it was not an easy cake to make and it cost me more than $2.79. I didn't mind though as I got a whole cake and everyone loved it!! I will be making it for Christmas too!

I have another fun story to share. It's short I promise. We wanted a Honey Baked Ham! I had a gift certificate for $40.00 that someone had given us two years ago. So, I figure...perfect time to use it, huh? So, I go to pick up the ham on Wednesday afternoon. The line was out to the parking lot. I was so not wanting to stand in such a long line. When I finally got inside the store to place my order, I saw that other customers were giving the cashier $10 coupon. One of the workers walked past me and I thought I would try asking for a coupon. Hey, when it comes to getting the best deal, I have no problem in asking. All they can do is say, "no", right? Anyhow, I asked the worker if she had a coupon that I could use. She said that they would give me one at the register. By this time, I had picked out my ham which was $51.80. I was thinking..."WOW, I am going to get this ham for $1.80." Not to shabby, huh? Anyhow, I got up to the register and the girl gave me a $10.00 coupon to use. Ready for this? I took out my $40.00 gift certificate. The cashier printed the receipt and gave me $5.00 back. I tried to say something and she immediately stopped me with, "Don't ask." So, I walked out of the store a little perplexed. I got to the car and took out the receipt and saw that they had given me an employee price instead of $51.80. The receipt showed $35.00 and with the $40.00 gift certificate that I had, I got $5.00 back. How's that???? I was tripping out!

Anyhow, here's few pictures of our Thanksgiving Day! Oh, one more thing. I had absolutely nothing to decorate my table with. So, I talked the girls into walking the neighborhood to pick up a bag of leaves for me. They not only picked out some really good leaves, they had a fun time doing it and have already asked if we could make a tradtion of them picking up leaves every Thanksgiving now.

This is a picture of Morgan and my oldest sister, Kelly.

Sorry the picture is lopsided! Jae took it for us!

My mom and all the grandkids, Morgan, Jae, Mckenzie, Madison and Matthew.

My sister, Vickie and her husband Bill and their 3 children.

It was such blessing to spend this time together. I hope each of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and would love to read all about yours if you'd like to share it.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My To-Do List Is Out of Control!!!!

Today was an extremely crazy, busy day for me! Usually when I lay down for the night, for the most part, I don't have a problem going to sleep. Last night, after making out my to-do list for today, I could hardly go to sleep while thinking how in the WORLD I was going to accomplish it all. Well, I didn't accomplish it all, but I got some of the important things out of the way.

I worked until noon. I had to drop Jaelyn off at my sister's house. Morgan had an appointment with a modeling agency at 2:30. I had to stand in a very long line to get my driver's license. Morgan had a doctor's appointment at 4:30. We had to meet back up with my sister to pick up Jae. I had to stop at the store and buy some of the ingredients for our meal for Thanksgiving. To say the least, I am a bit tired and will probably go to bed early tonight......around 11 instead of midnight.

Last week, we received a call from a modeling agency for Morgan after they looked at some photos I submitted. During the course of her interview with them, I started having second thoughts about her doing this. I already knew some of the things that were said, but it just seemed more real today. Some of the things that the lady was asking or saying to Morgan were things like;

1. Do you have tough skin for someone to correct the way you look or what you're wearing?
2. Are you mature enough for this?
3. Can you act professional?
4. It's a tough profession to be in, are you ready for that?
5. You have to always watch what you're eating and keep your figure.
6. You have to exercise.
7. It's very competitive.
8. It's not like America's Next Top Model, the jobs are not just given to you. Whatever that means.

There was other stuff said, but the last thing I remember her saying after was, "Do you still want to do this?" lol!

Morgan didn't skip a beat. "Yes, sure", she said.

On the other hand, I was thinking to myself...."FORGET IT!!!"

I honestly tried to talk Morgan out of it when we got in the car, but she is sold out and really wants to give it a try. Sooooooooooo, we'll do the next couple of things that they have asked us to do and see what happens when new assignments start coming in January.

I was happy to get a new license today since mine was stolen last week. I tell ya, I felt like a criminal driving without a license. Wait! I actually was a criminal. I think I've seen more police cars since last Friday (the day after I had no license) than I've seen all this year!!!! At one time, I seriously starting thinking what if I got pulled over for whatever reason? How would I ever get a cop to feel sorry for me having my purse stolen a few days ago, but I didn't think it was important enough to go and get a new license the next day? I realize now that my priorities were messed up. I should not have worried so much about getting my window fixed the next day and should have gotten a new license. Okay, enough! I got it taken care of today! What a bad example that was, though. Okay! I'll stop!

Oh, last thing....we've decided to do the traditional Thanksgiving meal after all instead of Mexican food. Long story. Don't worry, I'll spare ya the details!

Whew! I'm tired after typing all of this. Aren't you glad??? lol!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

No, It's a Lion, Not Mickey Mouse!

Jae recently had a Disney themed singing program at her school. Parents were asked to make their child's costume. Jae was a lion from "The Lion King" and so we had to make her ears and make sure that she was wearing light tan/brown clothing. We used cardboard and felt to make the ears. We used the form that the teacher sent home right? We actually thought they looked really good!

When we got to school the night of the program, I was somewhat embarrassed how big her ears were. lol! Jae never noticed the difference at all! But, let me tell you .....all the other parents apparently did not use the size that the teacher sent home and made teeny tiny ears for their child. Jae's ears were HUGE!!!! Seriously! When they were up on stage, the main thing that I kept focusing on was how we could definitely (along with the other parents, I am sure) see Jae and her ears sticking out above all the kids.

I am glad that Jae never noticed though. lol!

See for yourself!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hard Lesson Learned ~ Even for Me!!!

Okay friends, before you read this, please know that I have called myself stupid many times over this recent incident. Well.....I'm not stupid, but this was a STUPID thing that I did!

Like I tell the ladies at the office, I don't change purses very often because I carry too much stuff in one purse to keep changing back and forth. Sadly (but by my own choice), I only own three purses, two black and one brown one. For the last 20 years when I have changed purse to match the outfit I'm wearing, I've ALWAYS left my other one in the car.

Welllllllllllllllllllll, last night changed that!!!!! I was at the mall and lo and behold when I came back out my back window was broken!!!! Yep, some thief broke my window and took my spare purse. I had just changed purses yesterday morning. Unfortunately, I had a little wallet that I failed to throw into the other purse. The little wallet had my debit card, one credit card and my driver's license.

I was freaking out to say the least. I was able to laugh about this today as I was telling my story at the office. And I won't be able to tell it as well here in this post, but I'll try. When I walked up to my van, I only noticed all the glass on the ground and not my broken window at first. I made the comment to myself that I hadn't noticed the glass when I parked and I was only checking my tires to make sure I hadn't gotten myself a flat. Well, as I FINALLY raised my head, I then saw that the glass was from my own back window, DUH!!!

Okay, this was when I started freaking out!!!

I immediately called 911 and then my bank to close both cards. I must say that I was really, really, really upset about this last night. I was more upset with myself as this was a totally stupid thing to even do in the first place. However, after getting over being upset, I was able to look at this as just another example God's grace.

Ready for this? Right beside my spare purse was a very expensive digital camera (Nikon). Apparently, the thief who broke my window and stole my purse was too DUMB to steal our nice camera. Go figure that one out! I was thanking God big time on this!

The first place that the thief went to was a gas station and tried to get gas. Okay, I didn't know this before but now I'm glad to know that our bank really monitors the purchases that are made on our credit card. Anyhow, they tried to get gas at a place we wouldn't normally go to. Apparently when they tried to put it through, the bank immediately called us (we weren't at home to answer, though) to confirm if we were authorizing a suspicious charge. When the bank couldn't reach us, they automatically rejected the charge and sent a message to the gas station stating that credit card was possibly stolen. This is before we ever even called in to report it. How great is that?????? Wait there's more....they went to another gas station and made a purchase using the debit card. Because they were asked for either our pin or zip code, unfortunately they were able to use it. They had our zip code because my license was in there!
Anyhow, by the time I called and closed out both cards, there had only been the one purchase that they got away with. And, by the way, our bank has already put the money back into our account from the debit card. Anyhow, we were informed later that they later tried to make a purchase at Wal-Mart but the debit card was already closed by this time. Wal-mart has the surveillance tape that they will be releasing to the investigator. I hope the the thief was smiling for the camera!!

One last thing, so I was calling 24 hour glass places last night because I so wanted my window repaired immediately (part of my personality). Anyhow, we were looking at $400 to get it replaced. I had arranged with the company to come to my job today to take care of it. I was not even going to bother with the insurance company because I thought I deductible was the norm, at least $500. Well, lo and behold again in this post, I went ahead and called....Ready for this? Our deductible is $200. I had no idea it was that low. My agent who is absolutely wonderful and who has had our business for the last 18 years encouraged me to file a claim. He said it will not affect our standing with them at all because we were rated as exceptional customers. Okay, I really didn't know that they actually rated us, but okay. Sooooooooo, having the window replaced was painless. Well, I wouldn't normally want to spend $200 in this way, but it definitely beats $400.

Okay so all being said, I learned a hard lesson. I will never leave a purse in my car ever again. In fact, I've decided that I will not change purses at all. Just kidding with you ladies who change your purse out daily. lol!

I am able to make light of this now and I still don't like the fact that they now have our address. However, the investigator said that smashing your window and breaking into your car is one thing, but it's not likely that the same thief will break into your home. We're monitored by an alarm company so I have a little more peace about that.

Okay this really is the last thing, but when I was talking to the bank again today, the representative told me something that I have been thinking about all day which is why I am able to make light of this even more. She said that although this is a huge inconvenience for me, they actually had a young lady's mom call in yesterday to report that someone had snatched her daughter's purse from her while she was walking into a store. Sadly, not only did they take her purse, they also took her life.

So again and all being said, this is really minor in comparsion as to what it could have been.

Thank you God!

So sorry for the long post today. I just didn't have it in me last night to post after all my drama!

I've missed you all today and will be visiting you later tonight!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thankful Thursday ~ An Adoption Miracle

Today is a very special Thankful Thursday post.

Some of you already know this, but many of you do not. I share this story only as a testimony of God's grace and just one of the great blessings that He has given to our family.

As I reflect back on this very day, 11-20-04 and of what took place, I am still in awe of how awesome our God is.

The story is very long and could never be told in just one post, but I am happy to share with you briefly.

I've had three miscarriages and never understood until about five years ago why a perfectly healthy woman such as myself had to endure such great pain and brokenheartedness. Each miscarriage that I had to face never got easier. Instead, they only caused more confusion in my mind and the same question was asked over and over, "Why me?" After our last miscarriage, we had pretty much given up on completing our dream of having two children. However, the Lord had other plans...better plans than ours of course.

Today, I am especially THANKFUL for our little Jaelyn. It was on this day four years ago that our adoption became finalized. We truly cannot imagine our lives without her. We met Jae when she was 2-1/2 years old and brought her home right before her 3rd birthday. Our adoption journey is a beautiful story that I wrote about in a book called Journeying Through State Adoption , published two years ago.

I am thankful that God played a major part in saving Jae for our family. There are so many details that worked in our favor that could have only been from the Lord.

I am thankful today that the Lord has completely healed me from all the hurt and pain of the miscarriages I had. He has given me total understanding in this area of my life.

I am thankful that He has and continues to use me to bless others with encouraging words when they have experienced miscarriages.

The list of thankfulness in the area are very long and I could go on and on.

Today, I walk down memory lane with a few pictures our first year with Jaelyn.

The Lord is GOOD!

My first Mother's Day with Jae.

This was taken at Dirk's grandma's home. We were celebrating Jae's 3rd birthday!
Jae and I went on a field trip with Morgan's class.

We were in a huge field of flowers. Jae was terrified, but you would never be able to tell from the pictures.

This was taken at the Alamo in San Antonio. This was our first family vacation with Jae.

Jae's first Christmas with us as her new family.

And our little Jaelyn today!

For more Thankful Thursday posts, please visit Iris at Grace Alone.