Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday's Song - Away In A Manger

Since we are in the holiday season I thought for the next 5 Saturday's I would do a Christmas song or two that are my favorites.

This song I can remember clear back to my childhood singing in many Christmas programs at church or school and has always been a favorite.

Away In A Manger
(this one is sang by Patty Loveless)

Away in a manger,
no crib for His bed,
The little Lord Jesus
lay down his sweet head.
The stars in the sky
looked down where He lay
The little Lord Jesus,
asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing,
the poor Baby wakes,
But little Lord Jesus,
no crying He makes;
I love Thee, Lord Jesus,
look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle
till morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus,
I ask Thee to stay,
Close by me forever,
and love me, I pray!
Bless all the dear children
in Thy tender care
And take us to heaven,
to Live with Thee there.

What is your favorite Christmas song?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday....Madness?

I've probably always done some shopping on "Black Friday" when I was younger, as I was always the one who loved to shop, but I never did the crazy...get up in the middle of the I've never been a morning person and generally if I am up at 3-5 am it is because I have yet to go to bed from the night before.

One year (2004) my sister and my mom were at our house for Thanksgiving and my sister and I had perused the newspaper ads, found some good deals and thought we'd get up SUPER early to run out and get our treasures and come back home and go back to bed (she too is a night owl and together we can stay up late, catching up, whatnot). We fell asleep on the living room floor, talking, went out did our shopping and that was the year I started to get hooked on it. It was fun getting up early (not that I'd want to do it all the time, but once a year or so is fun) getting a special coffee drink, standing in the cold with all the other die hards and being with someone else made it something fun to do.

The next year (2005) it was a Thanksgiving of just my husband and I and I was (surprisingly) able to talk my husband into going with me on this crazy shopping trip. He is a morning person so getting up early didn't bother him too much, getting a special coffee...he loved...then he saw the MADNESS (long lines you wait in, the pushy people grabbing the last one of what you were just going to get) inside a couple of the stores and couldn't believe it. He kept saying this is insane, however, I still enjoyed myself.

The following year (2006) I was sure my husband wouldn't join me in my endeavor again but I was able to introduce my oldest stepdaughter to this wonderful day after Thanksgiving tradition. She had worked in retail the several years before and has always been able to see it from the working side of things but this was her first try as being the customer. I made it kinda fun and made up a couple of little blank notebooks for us to make our lists in and jot down ideas of what to get those we needed to buy for and be able to check off what we got. We ventured out early, got our special coffee (which she is an addict to anyways) and stood in line. We giggled and shivered and had a blast...she was HOOKED! We went to so many different stores and shopped til early afternoon.

In 2007 we were in a teeny tiny but wonderful mountain town with my Dad & stepmom Terry and there were no stores that held any sort of Black Friday shopping deals...which was fine by me (hey, I can skip a year and it doesn't bother me at all) we helped decorate for Christmas instead and my stepdaughter in her own town did the Black Friday shopping but we still remained in contact as to what good deals she found, etc...

In 2008 we were in Lewiston with my stepdaughter and her family for Thanksgiving so I went with her and her of which was up and in line at Walmart at 1:30 am...with a nice little heater, saving us a place in line. It was pure madness....everyone rushing to what they wanted (oh, by the way, I am a people watcher too so just watching these pushy people was fun as well). We shopped until later in the morning and went to breakfast and went home for a nap.

This year was another year of my husband and I being at home by ourselves but he piped up and mentioned he would go with me if I wanted to go shopping this year...of course I now there is a feel good feeling that I get when I go out on this crazy shopping day, that is invigorating and fun. So yesterday I perused all the ads (and I'm going to admit this totally OCD way I did it, but I put all the ads in order by if we were leaving our house and making a huge circle and the order of what stores we would come to...I wanted to make it easier when I did my list).

Since this year has been a difficult one for us financially we weren't getting too much but I want to highlight on the few wonderful deals we did get. Cabela's (opening at 6 am...not too terribly early) had these Roughneck jeans (regularly $24.95) on sale for $9.95. Since my husband likes Levi 501 jeans, and they are generally $40+ and the cheapest I can ever find them on sale is $32, I wanted him to look these jeans over, try them on to see if they fit well and he liked them so we could get them for him to wear to work instead of his expensive jeans. Yeah, on a tight budget we saved a bunch on the jeans, he liked them so we got 3 pairs, when the guy gave us our total, we paid for 3 pairs what I would normally pay for 1 pair of the Levi's....score! Walmart was doing price matches on other store ads and I wanted to get the Uno Moo game for our granddaughter (which was at Kmart for $12.99 & they opened at 6 am too - and way too far away to make sure we got one) so we checked Walmart for it, they had one left on the shelf. Walmart also had in their ads these reversible, puffy down type coats for men, women and children for $7. I've been wanting a coat of this type for a year or so but I figured they would all be gone by the time we got to Walmart so I didn't even write it on my list. When we got there and I was making my way back to toys (to get the game) I passed by all these racks that had these coats and they had a bunch of them still left and the top of the rack was marked $4...I figured that was a mistake and checked their ad and it did say $7 so I picked one rang up for $4 and the checker told me that yeah they sometimes will have in store sales like that....unbelieveable to me that I got a coat like I've been wanting for that cheap. I truly believe that it was a gift from God because He knew I've been wanting one and it really had to be cheap for me to get one. We went to a few other stores to get a few stocking stuffer type items, to Costco for a few groceries and our free cookbook and then we needed to make a quick stop at the mall for Bath & Body Works. Scott had let me know a couple of days earlier that he was getting low on cologne and back in the summer he had found one they carried that we both really liked. I had 3 different coupons for Bath & Body Works so I figured I could get him a stocking stuffer and use up these coupons. I ended up with pine scented oils for our burner and our plug in thing and a free lotion along with his cologne and I only paid $3 more than what his cologne was...I like how they allow you to use all kinds of coupons in one shopping trip.

We were both beat so we headed back home to take naps because we were going downtown to see the Festival of Trees and the lighting ceremony that the Coeur d' Alene Resort puts on every year. We hadn't been down there for the last several years and it is something we enjoy doing. We have had a very fun, eventful day.

I know many people don't understand the craziness behind shopping on this day but it is like I heard a lady say on the TV the other night, when you are on a small budget, (especially in such a bad economy as what we have right now) you try to get more bang for your buck and this kind of a shopping day makes it easier to do so. My brother got his first taste of it this year as he was looking for the Nintendo DS and Walmart had them for $98. He couldn't believe how wild it was, how crowded it was, but he started looking around at some of the things on sale and was better able to understand it a bit. He said he found a few things he'd like to have but since he wasn't shopping for himself he by-passed them.

I myself have always been lucky (I know it is the Lord blessing me) to not have to encounter the rude, pushy people on this shopping day. I always encounter the other ones who are kind and considerate, say excuse me, or even help you look for what you are looking for if you help them as well...makes for a much more pleasant shopping experience.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving actual post that doesn't coincide with my Saturday's Song segment...but with today being Thanksgiving I wanted to do a quick post for what I am thankful for. For those of you who are on my Facebook some of these will be familiar since for the last 2 weeks I was participating in a challenge of daily posting what I am thankful for. I was really enjoying seeing what everyone else posted as well.

I am thankful for:
  • Jesus, my Savior...He has saved me from an eternity of hell and being lost
  • My husband...even though some days I wish some things were different or I'd like to change him in some ways, I can't imagine being without him
  • My home...even though some days I wish it were a different house
  • My car...I love it and in 4 years, I haven't had any problems with it and still have not found one I like more
  • My friends...I've had so many that I've known through the years some for a long time and several for just a short time but they have all brought something good into my life
  • My family...I was raised in a close-knit one and my siblings and I all get along and love each other
  • My hobbies...I have several that I love to do (stamping, crocheting, reading, baking, beading)
  • My parents sacrificed to put my siblings and I through private school and I am so grateful for that
  • My freedom and all those who serve or who have served in the armed forces so I can have those freedoms
  • My health...for a year we haven't had health insurance and we've only had a few minor illnesses
  • Music...I love music, both listening to it and singing it
  • Prayers of my friends and family
  • My mind...I have so many good memories to remember
  • My ease of joy and laughter
  • The beauty and scents of nature...I live in the mountains surrounded by pine trees, lakes, fresh mountain air and lots of my favorite flowers
  • Makeup...without it I look like I haven't woken up yet
  • Faith and hope
  • My grandkids & stepkids...I didn't have any children of my own and I am able to spoil and do for them what I would have done for my own kids had I had any

I know I could come up with so many more if I took the time but I need to end this list somewhere. I'm even thankful for this last year. It has been a hard one for us, me being unemployed, we've had to make a few sacrifices but it has been a nice "vacation" from the workforce that I think I really needed. I know from the line of work that I was in that I would tend to get to a point where I hated people and I don't like that kind of me. I think that the Lord knew I needed to make a change in ME and get some of my priorities straight. I'm hoping and praying that He will bring me a new job in a field I would be happy in.

I hope everyone has had a wonderfully, blessed and enjoyable Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday's Song - My Wish

I almost didn't get this weeks song done. We spent a large portion of our day putting up the Christmas lights outside trying to beat the snow we are supposed to get tonight and tomorrow and after dinner I was so tired I fell asleep on the couch at 7:30....on a Saturday night. Most of you who know me would find that surprising as well. Scott's the one who always falls asleep that early, not me. But after a 2 hour nap I woke up and figured I'd get this post done so I could go to bed.

I heard this song last night on the radio and thought it would be a good one to highlight. I wish....for all of my loved ones...what this song says. I need to keep it in my mind fresh for myself as well.

My Wish
Rascal Flatts

I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow
And each road leads you where you want to go
And if you're faced with the choice and you have to choose
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you

And if one door opens to another door closed
I hope you keep on walkin' til you find the window
If it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile
But more than anything, more than anything

My wish for you
Is that this life becomes all that you want it to
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small
You never need to carry more than you can hold

And while you're out there gettin' where you're gettin' to
I hope you know somebody loves you
And wants the same things too
Yeah, this is my wish

I hope you never look back but you never forget
All the ones who love you and the place you left
I hope you always forgive and you never regret
And you help somebody every chance you get

Oh, you'd find God's grace in every mistake
And always give more than you take
But more than anything, yeah more than anything

My wish for you
Is that this life becomes all that you want it to
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small
You never need to carry more than you can hold

And while you're out there gettin' where you're gettin' to
I hope you know somebody loves you
And wants the same things too
Yeah, this is my wish, yeah yeah

My wish for you
Is that this life becomes all that you want it to
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small
You never need to carry more than you can hold

And while you're out there gettin' where you're gettin' to
I hope you know somebody loves you
And wants the same things too
Yeah, this is my wish
(My wish for you)

This is my wish
(My wish for you)
I hope you know somebody loves you
(My wish for you)
May all your dreams stay big
(My wish for you)

To see a video with this song click here.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday's Song - I Believe

This song is one that I just wanna get up and dance when I hear it. The message is so good too...I believe in God, I'll shout it from the mountains and I'm not ashamed to talk about it.

I know there are a lot of times in my Christian walk where I don't express this enthusiasm as much as I should. Mainly though because I let "things" in life get me down and blind me to the excitement of what life should be. I want every day to be a pleasure and wake up to another day of serving & trusting in Him.

I Believe

I used to close my eyes and pray the time would pass me by
So I could fly away in my dreams to anywhere unreal
And I'd hide away from everything
I didn't know what was real, I didn't know the truth
There was a day when somebody introduced me to You
And You breathed Your life in me
You set me free...

Now I'll shout it from the mountain
That I'm not the same that I used to be
I believe in God, believe in God
I'm not ashamed to talk about it
To a world that slowly slips away
That I believe in God, believe in God

Now at the end of the day when
nothing seems to go my way
I've got a friend, I've got a
love that's never gonna let me go
Since You gave Your life for me
You set me free...

Now I'll shout it from the mountain
That I'm not the same that I used to be
I believe in God, believe in God
I'm not ashamed to talk about it
To a world that slowly slips away
That I believe in God, believe in God

Oh, when I feel so alone
He comes to sweetly say
It's all gonna be okay
Oh, when my emotions flow
He comes to sweetly say
It's all gonna be okay

Now I'll shout it from the mountain
That I'm not the same that I used to be
I believe in God, believe in God
I'm not ashamed to talk about it
To a world that slowly slips away
That I believe in God, believe in God

To see the video of this song click here. I can't embed this video into my blog.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Saturday's Song - Praise You In This Storm

This week was a really bad week that I hope we will not have to repeat for awhile.

Scott finally went to Immediate Care on Monday and found out he had bronchitis. I'm really glad I pushed him to go because bronchitis turns into pneumonia if you don't get antibiotics to keep it from getting worse. He has had pneumonia before so he could get it easily and it took a month for me to get over it back in May. So far I've been able to keep it to just a head cold, I've been continuing with all the vitamins and Tylenol Cold. I still keep up with the hand sanitizer if I’ve been out somewhere.

Earlier this week some of the guys Scott has been working with were laid off and then on Wednesday he was told that on Friday (yesterday) after he was finished with this job he’s been on for awhile that he was going to be laid off for about 3 weeks. Because I had already had one big shock for the week Scott was afraid to say anything to me but when he did I think he was surprised that I didn’t freak out. I think it is because I was still in a state of shock. I am almost at a one year anniversary of being unemployed and quickly running out of unemployment funds with no confirmations on any of the jobs I’ve been praying I get. But after Scott talked to the owner and he mentioned going down Monday to file for unemployment he told Scott to hold off they were going to be having a meeting on Monday and from the way he talked they are going to keep him working one way or another. Praise the Lord!! We already know this Christmas is going to be one of the bleakest for us ever but we are just trying to keep our heads above water in this terrible economy….um what happened to our President creating jobs to help the growing number of unemployed?

The week ended pretty good when I got an e-mail this morning from one of my favorite authors, Stef Ann Holm, (she lives in Boise) whose blog I also follow that I had won an autographed copy of her latest book. I had just read the first 2 books in this series and I had gone through and caught myself up to all of the books she has written in the past. She posted to her blog how she came up with a winner and it involved her Yorkie dog....perfect, since that is the next dog I am wanting to get....a sign? Maybe.

Needless to say since our week was a bad one I really wanted this to be my song for the week. Another song I love and have ever since I first heard it on the radio. We may have been weathering a storm this week but He's still with us.

Praise You In This Storm
Casting Crowns

I was sure by now
God you would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as You mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will life my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can’t find You

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth