Monday, December 22, 2014

One more day off.....

Today is my last day off that I took as a vacation day.... and yes, I'm up early. In fact, didn't sleep much last night and got up at 4AM because I couldn't go back to sleep. Things on my mind. Had to send my reports from work out this morning. The person who was to send them for me, found last week she could not get into one of the reports. So I told her I'd just send them both out. Problem now is that one of the reports has not been updated since Saturday, so I will need to check back on the report again until it gets updated.

Today will be a busy day as I need to make sure I have everything purchased for gifts, groceries for the week, and finish up other things I need to get done. Hubby wants to go to Glendale Glitters tonight so we may do that as well. Will see how the day turns out.

God tells us that He is with us through all our troubles and our problems. I'm glad He is. It was a tough day yesterday about some things..... yet, I was able to get a lot of baking done. When I'm hurting I can't just sit still. So I baked. And baked. It dawned on me this morning that I may have forgotten to put one ingredient in a batch of cookies. I haven't checked yet so am wondering about that. Distractions of the mind, you know.

I felt like I hit bottom yesterday. That doesn't happen often. And I'm not going to go in to it. Only to say some people can be cruel and selfish and thoughtless. I think that captures it pretty well. My plans did not go as I planned, and I was extremely disappointed.

But I am on my way up. I have a busy day ahead of me, and as I pray about the situation, I am going to trust God for the outcome. He won't take me back to before this time, but He can help me move on from here. There is a scripture that says He is with the broken-hearted. So I know He is with me.

Back to work tomorrow all day, and a half day on Wednesday. Then I'm off Thursday AND Friday. I love the Company I work for - they are generous with giving us time off for holidays.

Got to check reports again. I paln to have a good day - and hope you do as well!


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Awaiting the 'Second Round'

I had so much fun with the three grandchildren yesterday - I am waiting for four others to arrive today to bake cookies and make Christmas mice. It's amazing how fast we got through with the baking. The oldest grandson and I talked about it yesterday - how fast they were getting the cookies completed and ready to bake - they aren't little kids anymore who need a lot of oversight! All three are nearly 'grown up' - well, two, anyway. They didn't need much supervision as in a few years ago. We were able to quickly get through the cookies, then the mice, and even had time to sit down, watch a short Christmas movie favorite (Gumby), and play a couple games of Sequence before their parents stopped by to pick them up. It was so much fun for me.

And I plan to have fun again today. The next 'second round' of grandchildren arrive within the hour. Same thing - cookies and Christmas mice. Not sure if there will be time for a game as one or two of these may need a bit more supervision. But even with that - it will be fun spending time with them. I haven't been able to get this group very often as they have always lived so far away. We never could get our schedules to work out. But it will be fun today and I'm looking forward to it.

I did make the gingersnaps yesterday - and they were really good! In fact, I ended up making a second batch as the first were so good - and I will share them with others. I had fun with two of my brothers commenting on facebook about my comment of making gingersnaps. I've really enjoyed the baking - perhaps because I haven't been buried with it. I do have some baking to do Christmas Eve, but they are for a gift so it's all ok. I have discovered with my baking yesterday morning I am nearly out of sugar and flour. Need to pick more up before another batch of baking, I'm thinking.

Just filling in time today with this note as the grandchildren should be here any time. Guess I need to get off and get the table set up for their baking. It's all good.

I'm glad I have all my shopping and wrapping completed. How are you doing?


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Twas the Saturday before Christmas......

for the moment, I am enjoying the quiet morning. Hubby has gone to church to the men's breakfast and I'm home with Marley. Too cold (at 43 degrees) for me to even want to go out and do anything. Of course, with my Christmas shopping completed, I only need to make a run to the grocery store for more baking things.

Yeah. Baking things. I get the first group of grandchildren this afternoon and I can't wait! I absolutely love the time I get to spend with each of the grandchildren and I love this part of the Christmas preparations. Yes, it is time-consuming, but I hope, time of precious memories. (Yeah, there I go again with the memory thing)

I get three grandsons today, tomorrow three grandsons and a granddaughter, and Monday the remaining two grandchildren. We will bake cookies (and if I have the ingredients, I let them make whatever they want!) and of course the biggie is the Christmas mice. The grandchildren seem to get the biggest kick out of making those. I'm trying to find more things but most take too much preparation and I'm for quick and easy and fun.

I cut out some steps today - bought the Pillsbury sugar cookie dough - it's pretty basic for cookies, and then I have some things they can put in the cookie dough - or roll it out and do cutouts. Yeah, got cookie cutters too. It's all good - and it's all fun. Best part? I send it all home with the grandchildren when they leave!

I really don't want to do my own baking for gifts until Sunday or Monday as I won't be back at work until Tuesday (yeah, I took Monday off too) and I want the cookies to be fresh. Christmas is on Thursday this year so don't want to do too far in advance. Yes, I can put in containers and they will be fine - but still..... I baked up a lot of my cranberry pumpkin nut bread and took too many out of the freezer last Wednesday to thaw for delivery on Thursday. I ended up bringing a few back home and they sit in the refrigerator. I'll have hubby take some over to the neighbor on one side, and I'll take to the one on the other. I'm sure some of the grandchildren may want to take some as well. I don't think there will be a problem in getting rid of it. Although I'm not sure how well my children like it.

I don't know how I got all my Christmas shopping completed so early. I don't know that I started real early, but perhaps because I limited myself and had to watch the $$ so tried to keep things in perspective. I'm thinking of one grandson I'm not sure if I have enough for him so now I'm second guessing myself. But it's all good. If he looks disappointed after we open gifts, I'll pull him aside and tell him I'll take him out for a treat by himself some time. He likes to 'run away' with me some times anyway. I truly hate to disappoint anyone, and I hope what I've chosen will be ok for them all.

Well, I need to get busy and get some of my things done. I did find a gingersnap recipe I thought I might try this morning. I love gingersnaps - and I still have a container of molasses that my mother gave me years ago that I've never opened or used. So, mother has been gone 10 years now, so I've had the molasses at least 12 years. Yeah, things like that don't get 'old'. Should be fun.

Hope that you take some time this season to sit down and really think about what the season is all about. It isn't about the gifts, the hustle and bustle of shopping till you drop. It isn't the cookie baking and the giving away. It's all about Jesus.

If you don't know Jesus personally, take some time to get to know Him. Talk to Him. He'll help you learn of Him. What a gift that would be!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

So glad I am staying home....

I took today off as a vacation day. Why? Because if I don't use it - I lose it. Yeah, we have to use up our vacation days before December 31 or we lose them. Now, my company is very good to us with vacation days, holidays, and other days off - but I don't want to lose any of MY days. So why am I glad I am staying home this morning? Because it is dark outside. It rained last night (and is still dripping) and the impression I am getting is that it is COLD outside - and I don't like being cold. My van sits outside so it isn't protected, which means when I get in it - in this season - it is COLD inside too. Of course I only have to go about a mile before it is warmed up - but still.....

I woke up about 2:15AM this morning and could not go back to sleep. I did the 'who do I need to pray for, Lord?' and did some prayers. Finally about 3:15AM or so I just got up to do my quiet time. I had set the alarm for 6AM. I waited until hubby got up about 5:45AM to come out and send the work reports I still do, although I am not 'officially' working today. Reports are sent, thought I would attempt a few lines here before I decide what to do today.

No, I didn't have anything specific to take off for. I am finished with my shopping an until the remainder that I ordered online comes in, my wrapping is done as well. As Christmas is still a week away, it is too early to make some things. Although I will be making some to take to our potluck at work tomorrow. I need to do the grocery route - after it gets light - and pick up some things for this weekend. I finally get to have the grandchildren over to do our annual baking of cookies and making Christmas mice.

Saturday afternoon I plan to get my middle child's children; Sunday afternoon the youngest child's children, and then Monday afternoon my oldest child's children. I took Monday off too and will be using that day to finish up all my baking for the office. I will take my boss's gift in tomorrow. It's just easier and I am just giving her salsa and stuff. It's tradition. We agreed no bought gifts this year.

I know I will have to cook breakfast this morning..... when I'm home I have to cook..... so guess I need to figure out what to feed hubby so that I can start on my "want to do" list.

So what are you doing today? I imagine some of you will head to work soon. Be careful on these cold and wet roads! One son has his cardiologist appointment. One son has to go to work and travel all over the valley. My daughter has to head to the east side of town. Me.... I'm staying in for awhile before escape to the store. :)

Food for thought - what are you thankful for this year? I'm thankful for my health. I got word yesterday my cousin has uterine cancer which has spread to her liver and lymph nodes. What a horrible thing to receive just before the holidays. My prayers go out for healing, for peace and for comfort to her.


Monday, December 15, 2014

And now we're down to 10.....

10 days that is. Where is the time going? Although it doesn't seem to be flying by, it is moving fairly quickly. At least the majority of my Christmas shopping is not only bought, but wrapped and under the tree. Hubby's doesn't get wrapped with the others, but will be wrapping his soon as well. But everyone else's is under the tree - except for some things I still have to make.

I did absolutely nothing over the weekend. I was to have breakfast with two girlfriends (it got cancelled until after the holidays) and then was going to go to the grocery.... it didn't happen. We did have our company Christmas party that night and it was nice. Sunday morning was church, at which we found out there was a Christmas musical with two of our grandchildren in it - so again, we didn't go with our original plans of baking, shopping, having grandchildren over to bake, etc. So we both took naps. After the musical we got invited to join the family for dinner out - which was very nice and enjoyable.

Today I'm back at work but at least this week will be a short one for me - I'm here two days, off one, back one, then off until next Tuesday. I work all day Tuesday, and 1/2 day on Wednesday. I'm considering working from home on Wednesday and saving the gas..... but will see. We are off the day after Christmas, which is a nice 'gift' from Corporate. That will give us a nice long weekend.

My sister emailed me over the weekend and said they had been hanging out with her spouse's relatives - and the subject of Christmas came up. These other couples give each of their children (3) and grandchildren (11) a $25 gift card for birthdays - and for Christmas. And they have "money". That's probably why they have it. LOL

So my sister asks me where did we go wrong? Why do we feel we need to buy lots and lots of presents for our children and grandchildren. I don't have an answer for that. I wasn't able to buy a lot this year.... and I did watch how much I spent. I'm usually still out shopping but quit a week or so ago. One thing I do know...... I don't want to just buy a gift card for $25 and let that be 'it'.

It's great, I guess, if you live in your RV or have a winter home to travel to for the holidays and don't plan to spend time with your children and grandchildren..... but to me spending the time with the children and grandchildren is what Christmas is all about. I love preparing a meal and waiting for them to come visit. I enjoy the time we spend together. I don't care if they only stay an hour - for that hour I get to spend time with them.

I know most don't care about gifts - and they don't hestiate to tell me. And that's fine. There is nothing I need either. But I love spending time with them. And I love buying things they may want, or find interesting. I love surprising them with things they wouldn't expect. Some things I get 'the look' of 'and you bought this because...??? LOL It's all good.

I still think I did fairly well on my spending.... not as much as years past.... but still enough. And I'm happy and that's all that counts, right?

I have my nativity scene out on my desk. Although I'm sure some companies don't allow it, I'm fortunate to work with a company who does allow us to put scenes like the nativity up.

What decorations are you putting up this year? Our tree has been up since Thanksgiving. Will be starting my baking this week. Will start my dieting in two weeks. :-) Oh well. It's all good.

Need to get to work - have a great day! Watch the traffic out there!


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

15 days until Christmas!

That's the theme this morning here at the office. Some are panicking - but not me. I quit about a week ago. Well, I have mail orders coming in yet, and I need to pick up one more gift card (or I would like to), but I finally had to say 'I quit'. 'I'm done'. 'No more'. Oh, just remembered, hubby still needs to get for his grandchildren in Indiana - and we need to get something for his brother and sis in law. We're basically down to gift cards, anyway. But we need to get those that we need to mail done soon.

We've had 'secret Santa' here at the office the past week or so. It's been a lot of fun and some are really getting in to it. I received two pair of Christmas socks the other day that were so fun. I wore a pair yesterday and had to go around and show them off. They are red/white stripe with a great 'belt' at the top and a big belt buckle in the design. So fun. I've gotten tablets, pen, lotion, socks - I think I'm doing quite well and we just drew names on December 1! Ironically, I drew my boss's name - and I was the last one to draw a name! She has a Christmas tree (tabletop) in her office so I've been putting them under it.

Last night I had a couple hours alone since hubby had a coffee meeting with some of his friends. It was a nice evening - I put on the movie "The Christmas Shoes" and cried my way through it as I worked on the binding for the quilt I'm working on. Love that movie. There are a couple along the same lines - I need to figure out which one I have loaned out - I may need to just buy a new copy. One of my boys gave me a tear-jerker movie to watch the other week - need to watch that this weekend sometime and get it back to him. This weekend - Saturday for sure - is going to be a busy one. I have a breakfast with two girlfriends, then we have our office Christmas party at the Talking Stick Resort. Sunday I think we just need to go to church.

I love the Christmas season - yes, with all the hustle and bustle of shopping and Christmas parties - I do enjoy it all, and I always make sure I take time to remember the "reason for the season". I like to re-read what we call 'The Christmas Story' and remember why we celebrate this season. I hope you take time to do that as well. Gifts and parties are all good, but it is meaningless without a reason.

Find the reason for this season.... it will make this time more meaningful for you.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Things aren't always as bad as they seem.....

That is the thought that popped into my mind just now. I'm not sure why at this moment - perhaps it was on the way in I was thinking of things I could sell to apply the monies towards bills. Perhaps it is because Christmas is 20 days away and I'm wanting to do so much - and yet cannot. Perhaps it is just I let life come crashing down around me on occasion and I don't know how to deal with things. But, I have also learned over the years, things are not always as bad as they seem.

I may struggle with spending and having bills at times...... but there are people out there that don't even have a job, let alone know where their next meal is coming from.

Yeah, I could probably write several more of the 'but there are people out there that....' but I think you get my drift. (Hey, that's a laundry detergent!!)

My boss is on vacation today. She was so funny yesterday afternoon - she was so excited about getting the day off that she was bouncing off the walls to get out of here. I can understand that feeling! Although she gets many more days vacation than I do, she had two weddings this year so her time off was busy with wedding preparations and company in her home. Today it is just for her - I imagine she will go get some shopping done. She and I agreed 'no gifts' this year. After the first of the year, we'll go get pedicures or go out to lunch. Neither of us really 'need' anything -we talked about it last week. My boss and I have been friends for probably 25+ years so we have given each other numerous gifts. I will still give her the salsa (which her husband loves and asks for), some cranberry pumpkin nut bread, and anything else I make and want to throw in the bag. She knows she will get that - but we have agreed nothing else. I usually bring salsa/bread and butter pickles for the docs and managers I work with. Not sure if I will do all that this year. I am thinking I may just bring a large loaf of the bread.... it puts too much pressure on me and most never say if they like it or not - they take it because it is a gift. I never want anyone to take something they don't care for.

Besides, for me, Christmas is about giving. I love seeing faces when the grandchildren open up their gifts. Or if I have made or bought something special for one of the children. But I don't need to put so much pressure on myself to get things done to give it away. I just need to sit down and figure out what I need to do and whom I want to give my home made things to. I already have in mind some things for next year to make..... just need to start in January and not November to get started. My fingers can't take it so much anymore. I went to get a massage last night - and when my hands were being massaged, I felt a lot of pain in my knuckles. Maybe I've overworked them a bit. Surely it isn't because I'm getting old!

Getting old. LOL My older sister and I were talking about that yesterday. We had laughed the last couple weeks because she said she has been on predisone and her face was swollen and round - that her wrinkles were gone - her cheeks were so big that it looked like her lips were moving a mile a minute when she talked. It cracked me up. Yesterday she said the swelling (from the medication) was going down and her wrinkles were coming back. Some times she and I have a good time laughing about things.

What do you think about getting older? I often think about where I am in life, according to my age. How many more years do I have ahead of me? Will I ever get my house cleaned up the way I want it before I go? Can I possibly get out of debt before then? I look at my life behind me and see many regrets, and yet, much joy. I've done a lot of stupid things, paid a lot of stupid tax (Dave Ramsey's term), but yet, life has been what I have made of it. I quit looking behind at my mistakes and regrets, and look ahead to what is there for me. I will continue to do a lot of stupid things, I'm sure. But I choose to live life. I'm not as active and don't do as much as I would like to. That is one of my biggest regrets, I think.

Things aren't always as bad as they's my viewpoint on my life. I choose to work on my viewpoint and find good and joy. What about you? Gonna waller in your struggles - or hold your head up and move on?