Monday, April 27, 2009

I am persuaded

Mothers Day 2009

That I need to enter the 5 minutes for mom Mother's Day giveaway.

Because I can.

And because today, they're giving away an itty bitty computer that has MY name all over it.

(Well, not my name for real. But it speaks to me.)

So, meander on over there, because they've got a heck of a lot of great stuff to give away.

Good luck!

Friday, April 24, 2009

I love saving money.

I really, truly do.

I love that I walked into Walmart this morning and bought the following:

1 six-pack of Orville Reddenbacher's 94% Fat Free Popcorn (the full-sized bags, not minis)
1 two-pack of Weight Watchers ice cream cups
1 bag of Tyson grilled chicken strips
2 bottles of Rimmel nail polish

And paid $6.32 out of my pocket.

How did I do it? Well, our Walmart just renovated, and they're putting stuff on clearance like CRAZY. Yesterday, I bought four pints of Ben and Jerry's for $1 each! Two boxes of Mollicools (little beads of ice cream) four-packs for $1 each! Two 2-packs of Weight Watchers ice cream for $1 each!

I stocked up on ice cream, and bought another box of that popcorn, and bought an All You magazine, and spent about $12.

And, in that magazine, there were coupons - $1 off the popcorn (so it was free!), BOGO free nail polish ($3.16 for both bottles), $0.55 off the chicken strips (the most expensive thing I bought, but worth it for the convenience) and $0.55 off the WW ice cream (making the 2-pack cost just $0.45, instead of the $2.54 it would have been normally.)

In the past couple of weeks, I've gotten Nestle Fat Free Hot Cocoa (25 calories, and normally $2.44 a box) for $1, and that popcorn - I've been stocking up, because the dates will be good for many months and I know it's stuff we'll use. I've got two stashes - one at work and one at home. I'm covered!

It should be criminal how good I felt walking into that store this morning, knowing what good deals I was getting. When all this clearance is gone, I don't know what I'm going to do!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Need a laugh?

Yeah, well, so do I.

The 23-year-old daughter of my friend Stephanie from church was killed in a wreck last night. She leaves the most adorable 3-year-old daughter this side of Anna Marie at that age.

(I never met my friend's daughter, but she brought her granddaughter to church with her on a pretty regular basis.)

And, I got some reminders about Anna Marie's upcoming summer camp trip in the mail today, so I was reminded that MY KID IS GOING TO OKLAHOMA FOR A WEEK THIS SUMMER. WITHOUT ME.

And, well, there's just a lot of funky junk going on in the world in general, and in my life in particular.

So, in honor of Stephanie, I present you with a YouTube video we all watched during a break in choir practice about a month ago. (Stephanie is one of the altos, like I am, and we rely HEAVILY on her leadership of our section.)

Our music pastor referenced this video in conversation, and when we took a break, Stephanie went into his office and found it so we could all watch.

Enjoy. And I hope that you aren't in such need of a laugh today as I am - and that if you are, this little clip will provide it for you.

Monday, April 20, 2009

How exciting!

I'm part of a recall!

Normally, I don't have any products new enough to qualify for a recall - like those on cars - or of the right product category, like baby items.

But this time - it's my beloved Senseo machine.

The one that got me hooked on coffee, and the one that saw me through last week until Jason bought me a new Hamilton Beach Brewstation.

(The six-cup model that was $25 at Walmart. Not the $50 model. Don't get too excited, folks.)

Apparently, there is some problem with mineral buildup and an "external electrical fault" and exploding coffee machines. And while I no longer use the Senseo as my primary machine (and there haven't been any reports of problems in this country, just in Europe) - well, heck, if they're going to be nice enough to send me a brand spanking new coffee maker, who am I to quibble?

I feel so special!

SO, if you have one of these machines, hie thee hither to the Phillips website, and check the bottom, and see if yours is on the list.

Can't have our coffee makers exploding on us, can we?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

(That was what Amanda text-messaged me when I told her some of this story.)

Well, you know how Jason works on Tuesdays, and doesn't get home until about 5 p.m.?

And how Anna Marie normally rides the bus to First Baptist Church for their choir and handbell program?

Well, that program ended two weeks ago. So I've been having to bring her to my office after school.

Most of the time, she comes in, she does her homework, and she plays on the extra computer. This Tuesday, however, she decided to make trouble.

And lots of it.

When she got into the car after school, she said one of her friends had asked her to decorate a pencil for her. I don't ask questions, folks - it doesn't make any sense to me either, but I'm not seven.

Anyway - after she did her homework, she started on the pencil decorating part of her afternoon.

She had her watercolors with her, and used them to make some lovely, colorful designs on the wooden writing instrument. I'm working away, when she comes in, gets my scissors, and asks:

"Mom, how do you make confetti?"

Look people. I may have been born in the morning, but it wasn't that morning. I knew that she'd get to cutting, and soon there would be small scraps of paper all over the floor of my place of business. And guess who would be cleaning it up? Yep. Me.

Not going to happen.

So I told her that. And she was unhappy. And she went to another girl in our office and asked her how to make confetti.

After I'd told her no.

See where this is going yet?

When I got on to her about it, she ran through the glass door into the back part of the office where the kitchen is. A few minutes later, she comes back up to the door and hands me a note. I have left all spelling, diction, and punctuation intact.

Dear Mom, I have went to the back so I won't get in t-r-o-u-b-l-e fo cutting out confetti. I am not going to cut out cofetti. But I'm using my science skills to build a machine. So farewell. Goodbye. Love, Anna Marie.

P.S. (Bring me your pack of popcorn eggs.)

Editor's note: I had a pack of popcorn eggs on my desk, picked up at half price that morning at Walmart. Guess she wanted provisions while she was inventing.

She then called our GM, Shirley, into her "office." Shirley then returned with a paper reading "No moms allowed!" and taped it to the glass door, per Anna Marie's instructions.

(Wait! It gets better!)

When I went to the back anyway, she threw a small fit. Luckily, it was time to go home. In the car, I told her that although the others in the office may have been laughing, she had disobeyed and disrespected me, and there would be no TV for the rest of the evening.

She didn't like that last part. Not one little bit.

When we got home, she again ran into her room and closed her door. While I was in my room explaining to Jason what had transpired, here is the note she brought me:

Sorry that I acted bad at your job. But God already forgot about it. Love, Anna Marie!

(Insert pictures of the two of us, with rays of light emanating from our persons.)

I still (heart) you!

The part about God forgetting about it? Apparently she must have been listening when I told her that when we ask forgiveness, that's what He does - He forgets all about what we did.

What do I say to that? I'll tell you what I said.

"I love you too. You still aren't getting to watch TV."

Guess what - she did everything else I asked her to the rest of the evening. She made her bed. She put her plate in the sink. She did something else, too, but it escapes me just now.

So, I did end up letting her watch the last 30 minutes of the Food Network Cupcake Challenge with me. You know, so she can get ideas for the next time she bakes something with her Aunt Manda. And, it wasn't "her" TV, so technically it didn't count, right?


Y'all, after Tuesday, I know this much - if that which doesn't kill me makes me stronger, I'll reach superhero status before long.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

This is going to be short and sweet, because I've been up since 5:15 a.m. and I have a sinus headache and it's about time for me to get to bed.

And the 5:15 wouldn't be so bad, except we had to be at church at 7:45 because we had an 8:30 service and we had to sing in both that and the 10:30 service.

At the beginning and end of each service, so we had to stay for all of both. On the platform. No sneaking out for a bathroom break!

(Thank GOD they put some chairs up there for us!)

Oh, and did I mention my coffee maker, which I haven't had quite a year, didn't work well this morning, at 5:15? That instead of 4 cups of coffee, it made one really, really strong cup?

Just like the other one that it replaced?

(Thank GOD I'd gotten some Senseo pods on clearance at Target last week, so I had a Plan B!)

Not surprisingly, there was a Harley in the sanctuary this morning.

Yes, on Easter.

No, no one was riding it. It was covered in a white sheet. I make that clarification because we have had people ride theirs into the sanctuary, on Biker Sunday.

It was part of the Pastor's sermon, about how that the value of an item is set by the buyer, not the seller, and that Jesus deemed us very valuable when he bought us with His blood on the cross.

Anna Marie went into childrens church for the first service, but decided she'd come into the sanctuary for the second.

(No, I didn't get any pictures this year. We had to be at church at 7:45 people! With less coffee than usual! I'll get pictures next time she wears her outfit!)

She did really well, sitting on the front row where I could see her (and next to her friend Chloe and Ms. Sandra, one of the more mature ladies in the church.)

After church, we went to my Aunt Esther's new house. And, just like at Christmas, I pretty much ate beyond all reason. Spiral ham? Check. Chicken and dressing? Check. Banana pudding? Check.

My mom had spent the night there, and my aunt and uncle from around the corner (who is my uncle twice over, I guess, because he used to be married to one of the other sisters who passed away), my Aunt Esther's younger daughter, and a couple of other family members showed up. Anna Marie was the only kid, but she survived.

(It helped that she had Cartoon Network, and her DS, and a Star Wars Clone Wars game for her Leapster.)

We finally left, and Jason said, "I think I ate too much ham."

I was all, "Dude. I know."

I can't believe this day is finally over, and what a good Easter week it's been. It started with last week's musical and then small groups, and ended with today's double header of a service and time with the family.

It didn't matter that the temperature dropped 15 degrees from lunchtime until we left, or that it's rained all day. We were inside, a family, something that sadly doesn't happen too much outside of funerals these days.

I'm testing my coffee pot, and loading myself up with ibuprofen and allergy meds, and soon I hope to be all snug in my bed.

I hope that all y'all out there in blogland have had a blessed Easter too.

He is risen, y'all!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Because obviously, you know, I have some pull

We had some major thunderstorms in our area last night, a situation I always dread because Anna Marie has developed an irrational fear of them.

Inevitably, she ends up in my bed.

I tried to dissuade her last night, because I was tired, and today is a deadline day, and I really did want to actually get some sleep.

She was especially concerned last night, and asked me odd questions like "Did Gramma's mom ever get in a Tornado?" No, I don't think so. "Did you ever meet Gramma's mom?" Yes, she didn't die until after I was married! "Was Papa ever in a tornado?"

(I think that one of the kids in her class has told her that he's been through three, which, at his young age, is highly unlikely unless he lives in a trailer park in Arkansas.)

(Not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you. I'm just sayin.)

So, seeing as how I've taught her that we need to go to God with our concerns in prayer, she asked me to pray that "the rain would come down slowly and the thunder would stop."

So, I did.

Apparently, she wasn't satisfied with the results of my prayers, though, because the next time the thunder crashed, she cried out:


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

And I shall never breathe again…

Isn't that how that Toni Braxton song goes? Let's see - I'll do a quick search, and…

Yep. I seem to remember having an argument with Amanda once, because I thought it was "believe again" and she insisted it was "breathe" and I thought that promising not to ever breathe again was a bit drastic.

But I digress.

I guess I should say I feel like I'll never breathe again, at least not freely and without great effort. Spring has sprung, and it's brought with it allergy season. I awoke at 4:30 a.m., unable to breathe, with a dry mouth because apparently my body's autonomic nervous system switched to "mouth breathing" while I was sleeping.


Now that I'm upright and awake - and have lots of coffee in my system - it's a bit better. But still! Annoying.

Speaking of sinuses…

(Nice segue, huh?)

I didn't include this information on the previous post, for fear that Amanda might read it and spoil the surprise, but Jason was recruited at the last minute to perform a solo in Sunday's musical.

"Last minute" being at 5:15 p.m. the night before the performance, about 45 minutes before rehearsal.

We'd gotten to church early, so Jason (who has kind of been put in charge of some of the media stuff) could get the computer set to play the DVD soundtrack. Pastor Rich, the music minister, said, "So, Jason, you ready to do that other song?"

See, Jason was already scheduled to conduct one song so that Pastor Rich could sing a duet. And the "other song" was supposed to be sung by a girl who is singing with the tenors, but she'd decided on Wednesday that it was just too low and she couldn't do it. So, Jason assumed that since it was so late in the game that Pastor Rich would sing it, too, and he'd conduct the choir.


Jason said, "You mean conduct it, right?"

To which Pastor Rich replied, "No, I mean sing it. Didn't I tell you Wednesday night?"

Um, apparently not. But, he can be excused for forgetting - on top of his regular work, and getting ready for the musical, his wife's grandmother had just passed away in the middle-of-nowhere Arkansas, and she was already gone out there with her parents. That left him with their three kids (all under the age of 10) to pack and join her the next day.

He'd just gotten back into town in time for Saturday's rehearsal.

Jason, ever the trooper, said, "I've got 45 minutes before practice. I can get ready!"

The rest of the choir was as surprised as he was when time came to practice that song and he moved to the mic. He'd been running the computer (my cousin, who was supposed to do it, was moving and couldn't make practice) and Pastor Rich traded places with him.

(The second time he sang it, he recruited Anna Marie to run the computer. No joke!)

Jason did it perfectly in practice! I was so proud of him! The choir was going nuts!

And then, Sunday morning came.

We had to be at practice at 9 a.m. Jason, like many others, had his sinuses draining down his throat all night.

His voice cracked like a 12-year-old boy. He was mortified, but really, it could happen to anyone! He was wearing a tie at that point (and our friend Ron called it one of those "unfortunate early-morning tie/neck incidents) which may have made it more difficult to hit those notes. He took the tie off, Pastor Rich gave him some stuff to spray on his throat, and we all started praying.

Mom and Amanda came to see Jason conduct, but I didn't tell them about the solo. When he walked up front, I could see them glancing at each other like, "What the heck?"

He did a great job! His voice did crack just a teeny bit, but nowhere near what it had done two hours earlier, when it wasn't warmed up enough. He was embarrassed, but I've heard lots of folks comment on what a good job he did. And if I'd had a solo, I would've been in the same boat - I took a deep breath at one point, and was rewarded with a "frog" in my throat that I had to fight against for the next half hour. By myself, it would NOT have been pretty.

Those songs from the musical are supposed to enter our rotation for choir specials, so I can only hope that he'll get the chance to redeem himself once allergy season abates a bit.

Of course, I've always thought Jason was great, but it's nice for others to acknowledge it - those who aren't married to him!

So, here's hoping that allergy season ends swiftly, and we can all get back to breathing - and singing - again.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Pushing myself

I have been absent from the blog, mainly because in real life, I'm pushing myself.

I'm pushing myself every time I get on the treadmill at 5 a.m. And believe you me, when that DJ on my Podrunner podcast said yesterday morning that we'd be doing 20 minutes STRAIGHT of the running part, I just about got right back off and went right back to bed. But I didn't. I pushed myself. And I finished my fifth week of Couch to 5K.

I'm pushing myself with a personal project that a week ago was just an idea, and now is coming together at a really scary pace. It's pushing the limits of what I've known myself to be capable of, and it's terrifying.

I'm pushing myself in the morning, because our choir is performing one of the more challenging pieces of music I've ever done. I'm not even sure how my voice will react to singing it all at once with no breaks, but I'm willing to find out.

I'm sorry I haven't been here (or at your blogs) much in the last week, but I'm coming back - better than ever - because I just keep pushing myself.