Friday, February 15, 2019

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  This whole day and weekend are JAM PACKED, and I am going to write this and then I'll basically be running through the rest of my day.  I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals, for this post. 

It's been a really good week.  It's gone by fast, which shouldn't surprise me anymore, but it still does.  I haven't seen a ton of my husband, because he's been working at our church every night, to prepare for this weekend, but more about that in a minute.

Here are some of my favorites from the week.

I was standing at the stove cooking dinner on Monday night, when I took this.  This little corner in my kitchen is my favorite, with a bunch of other favorite things.  I got that lamp for my birthday, and I love how it brightens up what was a dark corner in the kitchen.  Those cook books you see?  They're my favorite, especially the one on top.  I love my little frame with a favorite passage out of Isaiah, and just a couple of months ago, I bought that utensil jar from HomeGoods.  The Dutch oven lid you see is my favorite pot that I own.  My mom bought it for me as a gift while I was recovering from surgery a few years ago, and I use it almost every single day. 

I also love that on this night, my sister Trish came and had dinner with us. 

On Tuesday, I went to my favorite place in town (and my happy place, the local library) and got a pretty good collection of books.  I've already read one of them.  It was SO GOOD!  It reminded me a bit of the Mitford books.

After I took this, I ran to Kroger, then I went to my friend Eileen's house.  We meet every couple of weeks and get all caught up on life and such, and on this day, we sat at her table and just talked about what the Lord was showing us in our lives through our bible reading.

I love this woman so much, and I've not even known her that long.  She had THREE bibles laying open on her kitchen table that day, and I laughed later on, because last week, I had three on my table one morning as I did my bible reading and bible study homework.  We're a lot alike.

Avocados for lunch are my favorite.  So are bible study days, for that matter, and this was what I ate on Wednesday. 

I came home that day and had two cards waiting for me in the mail!  I feel so fortunate.  This one was from my dad, and I teared up when I read what he had written.

And this one was from my best friend.  Cards in the mail are one of my very favorite things ever!

I also got candy from my mom, and she and my sister made some goodies for the boys (brownies and cupcakes), and then last night we ate dinner with my in-love's, so it was a great day.

I used to always cuddle my kids, but now I do this with my animals.  If I sit down, this kitty is in my lap.  Here we were yesterday afternoon, while I was trying to read my book.

But then later on, I got this picture, without her.  I finished a really good book yesterday, and I read most of it yesterday, in between doing things around the house.  I'll share about this more next week, when I do my February book review.

I love days like yesterday.  I had nowhere to be until after six, most of my house things were done early on in the day, I caught up on laundry again (I always fall behind on Wednesday), the weather was nice outside, it was just a quiet, peaceful day.  Those are always my favorite.

This weekend is crazy because it's D-Now weekend for three of my boys.  Graham is a leader again, and Jonah and Noah are participating.  This weekend is like a weekend long retreat, but it's in town and at host homes in our area.  (Except that Jonah's and Noah's grade boys are staying at the church, which they're so excited about.)  There's always a preacher they get to come speak, a band that leads worship, and they'll have activities tonight and tomorrow morning and afternoon.  Lunch and dinner will be eaten at church tomorrow, and breakfast on Sunday, then after morning church, they'll be dismissed to come home again.  There is a special service that night that will officially end the weekend. 

This year is bittersweet for me, because for the first time in a long time, I will not be a leader.  I'm not really involved in youth anymore, and while I'm excited for the boys, I'm a little sad for me.  It works better this way, though, because it's hard to have our animals be alone all day.  This way I am free to come home and take care of them, and then I'll also be hanging out at church with them.  Tonight I'm doing registration and tomorrow night I'm helping serve dinner. 

(Todd is always part of the tech team, so he is there as well.  Drew isn't going at all this year, he's no longer in youth, and he didn't want to be a leader.  Which is good, because for half a day tomorrow, he has to go through a CPR course for his work.)

It'll be a busy weekend, but a fun one.  Speaking of, I had better get moving.  I have a list waiting on me!  Thanks for reading, I hope yours is great.  Love to all! 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Let's Look linkup (a day late)

I'm a day late to the linkup party, but better late than never!  I meant to write this on Tuesday night, but life just happens, and I forget all the things.  I'm joining these two ladies whose blogs are listed above for this linkup.  Here's the Mix and Match Mama blog for you, if you've never checked her website out, you should.  Some of our favorite recipes that I make today are from her. 

I love to read.  You know that by now, even if you're new here.  I first fell in love with reading when I was seven years old and in the last half of my first grade year.  I had this incredible teacher, Mrs. Shaw, who encouraged us to pick books we loved and to read as often as we could.  My first book that I ever read was a Garfield book, and then I was hooked forever.  When I was young, my favorites were Nancy Drew books, The Babysitter's Club books (I had all of both series), and Sweet Valley Twins. 

In high school, my book choices grew up a little, and my favorite books were the Christy Miller series by Robin Jones Gunn, Sweet Valley High by Francine Paschal, Goosebumps by R.L. Stine, anything and everything by Judy Blume, all of the Christopher Pike books, and Mary Higgins Clark books.  By the time I graduated, my mom and I were sharing all the books we read and to this day, are still continuing in that tradition.  I love all the books. 

I remember when I was a teenager and with my dad on Saturdays, before I drove myself, he would drop me off at my favorite used bookstore in Germantown, The Book Depot, at ten or eleven and pick me up four hours later.  I would get lost in the shelves and would read anything and everything I could get my hands on.  Nowadays, most of my books come from my happy place, a.k.a. the local library.  Here I was just Tuesday, with my latest book haul.  Sometimes I buy books I know I will love from Amazon or Costco.  (I just bought one at Costco last Friday.)

If I could do two things over, in the raising of my children, it would be to homeschool them from the start of their school career and to teach them to love to read.  By the time they were doing book reports in public school on books they hated, it ruined their love of reading.  They will read the required reading for schoolwork, but that's about it for them.  I won't say they HATE reading, because they've all read books for pleasure, but they definitely do not share my love.  That breaks my heart.  This is why, when asked about homeschooling, I tell people to read all they can with their kids, from early on and to never stop.  Kids are smart and understand far more than what we give them credit for, in my opinion, and if you make it a habit early on, they'll never depart from it.

Here is a bit of what I love to read, and some of my favorite books of all time. 

First off, this is what I love to read the most.

The living, active word of God.  This is the one book I will read over and over and over again until the day Jesus calls me to His side in heaven, and it is the one thing I memorize and study and write out.  Talk about teaching them when they're young and them not departing from it, THIS is what I taught my kids with.  They've all grown up in a home that loves and lives for Jesus.  They've been taught from birth, practically, to walk in His ways, and I pray and trust in Him that they will never stray from Him.  Even if they do stray from Him, I pray it's not for too long a time, and that the Lord would keep them all on a short tether.

I read my bible everyday, almost.  (Sundays are the days I almost always skip, but I'm getting the word from our preacher on that day, so I am still "reading" it, even on off days.)  Sometimes I do this in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon (like yesterday), and sometimes I do this at night.  God is not legalistic about the time I spend with Him, and when it is, just so long as I spend time with Him. 

Along with this, I am always in a bible study of some sort, so I will add that to things I read.  My current study is called Mirror Image, and it's a study on the book of Malachi.  It was written by a good friend of mine, Amy Dobson, who goes to the same church as me and is the women's ministry leader at Collierville First Baptist Church. 

On a lighter note, here are a couple of my favorite recent reads from December. 

This book was SO GOOD. 

And so was this one.

(I miss Christmas.)

I haven't had as much reading success in February so far, but I'm still hopeful that one of the ones I picked up on Tuesday will be great and that I'll be unable to put them down.  That is my favorite!

If I had to pick my favorite book(s) of all time, it would be a tie between two series.  I love them equally and I have read both series at least five times.  I read them over again every other year.

This is one book from the Yada Yada series by Neta Jackson.

These books inspire me in my prayer life.  Any book that does that is a win for me.  These are the books that made me want to find a prayer partner, or group. 

I love them all and cannot say enough about them.  If you've not read these, give them a try! 

And my other favorite series of books of all time are from Robin Jones Gunn.

These are the Sisterchicks series of books by the same author I loved as a teenager.  I love all of her books, but this series wins the title of first place tie in my heart.  These are Christian fiction, and they inspire me to never put anything or anyone above God's place in my heart, and they also inspire me to be a good friend to the ones God has given me. 

These are the ones that I would call "comfort books" (better than comfort food), and my go to, if I ever get in a reading rut.  Don't take my word for it.  Give these a try for yourself! 

What are some of your favorite books and authors?  I would love to hear from you.  Thanks for reading my blog!  Love to all. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

weekending/dreary Monday

Todd and Graham were out of town for most of the weekend, so things were pretty low key around here.  On Friday night, Noah went to a friend's house, and Drew stayed at the neighbor's house, because he was watching their cat.  So, Jonah and I were here alone.  I had been craving fried rice, and wanted to attempt to make it, so after using Google to find the recipe that looked the best, this is what we had for dinner.  (When I made this, I thought four of us would be eating it, so I doubled the recipe.  There was plenty, needless to say, but it was finished off last night.)

It was SO GOOD.  Here is a recipe for you. 

I made a couple of changes to the recipe.  First, I used half olive oil and and half sesame oil to fry the egg and saute the veggies.  I also added a splash of both oils while cooking the rice prior to this.  (This recipe works best if the rice is leftover or made early in the day and completely cooled.)  Second, the veggies I used were a whole bag of frozen peas and carrots.  They were perfectly diced.  I just let them drain in a colander so that they would be thawed.  The recipe didn't call for a garnish of toasted sesame seeds, but it was much better with them, because it added a little crunch to each bite.

Seriously, you should try the recipe.  It makes for great leftovers, too, which I didn't think would be the case.  I had this for lunch, and so did Noah, and then Drew finished if all off for part of his dinner last night, along with the leftovers we brought home from Nana's and Big Daddy's Saturday night.

For the rest of Friday night, Jonah worked on polishing my car.  He got a polishing tool for Christmas, and he has been wanting to try it out.  He worked on it Thursday, and Friday, Saturday, and again last night.  He's still not done.  #perfectionist

On Saturday morning, I went to a baby shower for a sweet friend, then came home and took Jonah to Popeye's for lunch.  I got gas and tried to find a new shirt of pair of pants (for the second weekend in a row) and didn't, so I came home and watched a show.  Drew and Jonah went to Drew's team's basketball game (Drew is a coach this year).  That night we went to my mom's for dinner. 

Todd and Graham made it home safely around one thirty a.m., praise God.  I always worry when I know they're tired and on the road.

Sunday was church all day, which I love.  It's not "church", necessarily, but choir for me starts each week at three in the afternoon and lasts until five thirty, so it does kinda feel like it.  I came home and made us a quick dinner, then I sat and read.  I had to quit the book I was reading, and so I started a new one I bought, and I'm thinking I may have to quit this one as well.  February hasn't been a great month so far, for reading.  Hopefully that'll change.  Poor Toddley, he went to bed before eight and slept until seven thirty this morning.  He was exhausted.

I'm home all day long today, and I am so happy to be.  I have plans to catch up on laundry, clean the downstairs, vacuum, enjoy a long quiet time, catch up on bible study homework, read, and eventually, cook dinner.  Sounds like a perfect Monday to me, because it's supposed to rain on and off all day. 

Well, thanks for reading my blog.  I hope your day is great.  Love to all!

Friday, February 8, 2019

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals, and her friends Erika and Narci, for this linkup blog post. 

I wrote a whole long blog post yesterday, about what has been rolling around in my brain, and it left me feeling kinda raw and vulnerable.  I decided not to let the blog post go straight to the other forums it usually goes to after I hit "publish".  I kinda chickened out with it, once I was finished and had read the entire thing again.  Also, I feel like for the rest of the day, I wrestled with some other things I couldn't get off of my mind, and after much prayer, and tears, I let it all go.  It was an emotional day, but it started that way when one of my sons came to me with an Instagram post the son of my friend who died in the fire before Christmas shared.  He told me what the young man said in his post on Instagram, and then he left the room, because I think it got to him.  Even writing that makes me well up with tears.  When I went to look at his post myself, the minute I saw it, it took my breath away.  It was a picture of him hugging his mom, and him saying how much he missed her and her hugs. 

Goodness, I have to stop, or I'm going to get started all over again.  The reason I even share all that is to say that yesterday was a DAY, if you know what I mean, and also that when words fail, prayers go straight to Jesus.  I love what Psalm 56:8 says: "You yourself have collected my wanderings.  Put my tears in your bottle.  Are they not in your book?"  And if you want to pray for this young man, and his whole family and dad, your prayers would not be wasted. 

Some days are harder than others, but I cannot picture what a day without Jesus would look like.  Also, some days the enemy really messes with me, and I think this happened yesterday, now that I'm looking back.  For anyone who thinks he is not real, read 1 Peter 5:8.

Moving on to much lighter things, now.

This was on my Timehop this week.  I think this was five years ago, when Drew used the camera on my phone to zoom in and take pictures of these snowflakes that were on the back of my Suburban.  I remember him doing this like it was yesterday, and I remember being in awe of our Creator God when I looked at these.  I had never seen snowflakes up close before, and I thought the design we drew as young children in art class was a made up version of a snowflake.  It amazes me how intricate and unique each one is. 

This is one of my favorite pictures he has ever taken, and he has taken some pretty amazing pictures.

This piano is probably my favorite thing in my entire house.  I rarely show it, because weeks go by and this will sit untouched.  Or months, even.  One night this week when Todd ended up working late, I sat down to piddle around on this after dinner.  I say "piddle around", because I do not formally play.  I have some songs I've taught myself over the years, like Lean On Me, and an old song by Richard Marx from back in the day, but that's about the extent of what I know.  I can play all the scales and with both hands and I can play them with my left hand playing the harmony.  I found a chord tutorial video on YouTube, though, and ended up learning two worship songs.  I don't know if I could play them again right now if I were to sit and try again, but on that night, I could, and I even sang along.  (Kind made me mess up more, though.  That makes me laugh at myself.)

Though it does need a good tuning, it still sounds remarkably well, for it to have been so long.

I took this yesterday morning, after I folded a load of towels.  This tea towel is my favorite.  It gets used, and washed, then put out again.  When I posted this picture yesterday morning, I had no idea how true it was going to be for the rest of my day.  Also, the blanket it sits on is one of my favorite blankets ever. 

And lastly, my quiet times this week have been some of my very favorite.

I read Matthew 27 this week along with my church family, about the crucifixion of Jesus, and I cried like a baby.  I do this every single time I read about this, and the pain and suffering that Jesus went through.  I never want to "get over" what He did for ME by dying on the cross.  And every time I finish reading about this, I pray, and every time when I tell Him thank You for what He did, it never seems adequate.  It could never be enough, just to say those words.  He knows my heart, though, and how much He means to me and how I mean those words from the very depth of my soul, so I have to trust that He hears me when I say them to Him. 

Speaking of reading in my quiet time, I need to get started on this beautiful day.  My dad is coming over today, and we're making a Costco run while he's here.  I have a few things I'd like to get done before he comes in a couple of hours.  Thanks for reading my blog!  Love to all. 

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Thursday Thoughts

This week is flying right by!  I am so glad it's Thursday, and a day I can stay home.  Especially because the weather is supposed to turn gross later on, and even though I may not know what's for dinner now that I canceled my dinner plans with my in-love's, I'm okay with this.  I'll figure something out, I'm confident, because we still have lots of food and leftovers from the past couple of days.  

Yesterday morning as I was getting dressed and ready to leave for bible study, I was also busy getting my husband and oldest son out the door.  They left town and won't be back home until late Saturday night.  Every year they work a D-Now event in Mississippi that is huge.  They do all the setup, technical (lights, sound, video), and tear down for a local production company.  It's become tradition by now, and the extra money is always nice.  I never sleep quite as well, when Toddley is gone, and this was true last night.  I was ready to get up at three, then again at five.  I finally came downstairs at five thirty.  I also go to bed extremely early every night, so by ten o'clock, it's pitch black all over the house, with the exception of the lights from whatever screen my boys are looking at (Netflix, Xbox).  I'm always a little uneasy.  I have no reason to be, I just always am.  I am very thankful for our three dogs...two of them have mean barks, and it's like a built in alarm system.  ;)

Except for Chip.  His bark sounds like a little girl screaming.  I kid you not.

Moving on, now.

Recently, I have had a few conversations with friends about old hurts that I've had in my life.  Some are from forever ago, and some are pretty recent.  I am sad to say that some of the most painful hurts I have ever experienced have come from within the church (the body, not a building).  

I'm currently doing a bible study on the book of Malachi with some precious ladies every Wednesday where we attend weekly services, and it is CRAZY how relevant this old testament book in the bible is for this present day and age.  This is my second time going through the study since last August.  I am still getting things out of it, and new things from the first time.  It's so interesting, how God's word works.  It is truly living and active, like it says in Hebrews 4:12, and it pierces our hearts.  That just means that no matter how many times you've read something, you may "see" something new for the first time.  I like to think of this is as God's highlighter.  In doing this study, I've been thinking about things and situations, like those old hurts I mentioned before.

I suppose the struggle for me is that some of the hurts have come from people within a leadership position within where we attend services.  (And don't try to go guessing about who this is; it is nobody who is in a position currently, and it is not even necessarily where we attend right now.  This spans over about three decades.)  This gets me to thinking about those priests in Malachi, who were far from God.  Even though they were supposed to be leading the people they were in charge of, they were so far from God that they caused many to stumble.  It makes me wonder, how in the world did they get from one point to the extreme opposite?  Was it weariness?  Burn out?  Their eyes were no longer on God, but on the circumstances around them?  I'm not making excuses for them, but just hear me out for a few minutes.

It sounds like it would be easy for any one of us to also become that way.  IF we take our eyes off Jesus.  I always say that nobody is immune to falling from God.  I do believe that once we have received salvation, nothing can no longer separate us from Him (Romans 8:38-39), but we can certainly stop prioritizing Him in our lives, and if we do this for too long and are not very careful about guarding our relationship with the Lord, before we know it, we too could suddenly be very far from Him.  

I will give you an example.  In my own life, if I neglect to spend time with the Lord every morning, things slowly begin to spin out of control.  I'll be okay if this happens for a day or two, maybe three at the most, but any more than that, I become irritable, I snap easily at everyone around me, I don't spend as much time thinking on things of the Lord, and every relationship in my life suffers.  I am speaking from personal experience, trust me on this.  (Also, I know people who are going through this RIGHT THIS MOMENT, who were once close to the Lord and are suddenly far from Him.)  If I am not reading His word daily, His instruction becomes less and less in my everyday life, and I grow farther away from Him in our relationship.  

I'm going to stop here and say that sometimes this just happens, and when that happens, God is always so merciful to us and He extends grace to us.  Sometimes sickness can cause us to abandon our daily routine, or a circumstance in life that is out of our control.  In that kind of situation, God is not legalistic about how much time we spend with Him or even if we miss a few days of reading His word.  

What I am talking about above is more of a choice, and it's based upon laziness, or distraction, or being too busy, or maybe us not choosing what is more important--spending time with Him or doing something else that takes us away from that time.

Proverbs 4:23 addresses this.  "Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life."

And also, what is in our heart overflows into our mouths.  Luke 6:45 talks about this.  "A good person produces good out of the good stored up in his heart.  An evil person produces evil out of the evil stored up in his heart, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart."

The heart and the mouth are connected, so my point is, is that if God's word isn't in my heart often (daily, even hourly sometimes), the junk in my heart will start to bubble up and spill out of my mouth.  We know this is true, because Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?"  

Again, I'm thinking of situations I've been in throughout life that are hurtful, and God is reminding me that though these people said or did something hurtful, whether purposefully or not, they are human and as believers and followers of Jesus, we all battle our flesh, or our sinful nature.  That is why we need Jesus.  It's like the old picture of spending time with your best friend.  Don't you want to talk to them often and spend all the time you can with them?  If you don't see them or talk to them for long periods of time, it seems as if they lose their place of importance in your life.  You grow farther and farther away from them.  On the flip side, if you make time to talk to them or see them often, you grow closer to them.

All this just makes me think of living a life filled with integrity.  I'm not saying perfection, because nobody is perfect.  The Lord sanctifies us every single day, and that will continue until He calls us to His side.  If I am walking closely with the Lord, as I claim to be doing, that should be evident in every area of my life.  It should come out in my talk, what I do in my own private time when nobody is watching me, how I treat people, what I speak when others are listening, in my thoughts.  Also, if we are someone in a leadership position, we have to be extra careful, because we could either turn people TO the Lord, or our words could cause someone to stumble.  As I am learning in Malachi, the priests in that day did just that (causing many to stumble), and God does not like it when someone messes with one of His own.  A verse we looked at in our homework last week was Zechariah 2:9.  "...for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye."  
If I am reading His word daily, friends, I am being convicted of multiple things daily.  If you're reading God's word and you're not being convicted, maybe there is a heart problem.  I don't mean read as in hurry through your daily reading just to get it checked off your list.  I mean read the word slowly and savor every single letter.  Start in prayer.  Ask God for help in knowing and understanding what you read.  Ask Him to pierce your heart through His word and to change you through the reading of it.  Ask Him to give you eyes to see and ears to hear what He is showing you in His word.  If you pray that, I promise you, He will answer.  And He will bring about conviction and change.   

Now, in those old hurts in my life.  Whether apologies are ever said, I must forgive.  Read what Ephesians 4:32 says.  

"And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ."  

Whether an "I'm sorry" is ever uttered or not, I am to forgive.  God has forgiven me, and if He has done that, who am I to withhold that from someone else, especially a believer?  Something else I can do is ask God for help in moving on in life.  This is especially hard when something like this comes from someone within the church (again, the body, not a building).  We are all imperfect human beings.  For those of us who are believers and followers of Jesus, sometimes we say or do the most hurtful things.  Everyone does this in one way or another, but we must also remember that the world is watching our every move.  The bible clearly states that we are to be set apart (1 Peter 2:9).  

Well.  I suppose that went on for a little longer that I'd intended, but I pray these words encourage someone other than myself today.  I always think that if I'm struggling with this, surely someone else is, too.  Thanks for reading my blog.  Love to all.  

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Prime Purchases link up

Happy Tuesday, friends!  I am doing (yet another) link up today, since I love them and "meet" new people via their blogs.  Also, I love seeing what other people buy on Amazon Prime, and I am always on there looking, even though I don't usually make a purchase.  I have all kinds of things saved to lists, though, like books and things I'd like to buy eventually. 

I'm linking up with Tanya at The Other Side of the Road again, for this monthly series.

Five days into the new year, I purchased these puzzles for my great nieces birthday, a kind similar to this.

They are easy for them to do, at two years of age, they are wooden, and they're simple.  All those factors made them an easy choice for a gift.  They love books, and I started to get them each a book, but my boys LOVED these kinds of puzzles when they were young.  Click HERE to see which ones I picked for them.  The ones I picked were Farm and Vehicles.  They were a hit, so I'd call that a win. 

My next purchase for the month is this quick dry polish, by Seche Vite. 

I always use this stuff.  Always.  I polish my nails every few days, and if that is something you do yourself, this is a must have.  It's what a lot of salons use in their manicures.  It's like a top coat, but once you apply it, the polish is totally dry in about twenty minutes.  I'm still careful, because if you hit your nail hard enough, it'll mess up, but to the touch, they are dry.  HERE it is on Amazon. 

A bottle of this stuff lasts about four months, because once it gets to a certain point, it gets gummy, and you just have to toss it.  Adding polish thinner takes away its fast drying abilities.  Ask me how I know.  Thankfully, it's inexpensive.

Next up, is this book.

Nowadays, I don't buy a lot of books.  I like to borrow them from the library.  This is one that sounded so good to me I wanted to buy it, so that I could share it afterward.  I love sharing books and love having books shared with me.  HERE it is on Amazon. 

(I have a library book to finish, then I'm going to read this one next.  I'm on book two for the month so far, so this will be number three.  To read my January book review, scroll down a couple of posts, I mixed it in with Friday Favorites last week.)

And last, but not least, I bought this polish.

I mentioned that I do my own nails, and I recently had to throw away a bunch of old polishes I'd had for YEARS.  I am slowly building my collection back up, and this is one of my favorite colors ever.  It's called Alpaca My Bags.  HERE it is on Amazon. 

PSA: I know that $10.50 sounds like a lot for polish, but no other polish goes on as smoothly or lasts as long as OPI.  I've tried a lot of brands, including all the drug store brands like Sally Hansen and Revlon, but they cannot compete.  I've also tried Essie, and while I also like that brand and it goes on smoothly, it chips very quickly on my nails.  I don't know why.  I know people that prefer Essie over OPI.  I'm on OPI girl, plus, with names like that, who wouldn't be?!

Also, I do my own nails, and I buy a new color every two or three months.  I was spending $20 every week and a half getting my nails done with gel polish at a salon, so I'm saving big time by doing my own now, and my nails are getting healthy again.  Gel polish tore my nails up and made them tissue paper thin.  They're still not great, but they're getting better.

I've already purchased several things from Amazon this month.  I'll share them next month, though, but they were either for my sister or for a gift for a baby shower I'm going to on Saturday.  With their prices and free two day delivery for Prime members, you cannot beat Amazon shopping.  Sometimes, I do prefer and actual brick and mortar store, like for clothes and shoes, but I've never been dissatisfied with our Amazon purchases.  Almost all of our Christmas gifts were purchased through Amazon this year, and it's like that every other year as well.  In the month of December, we have guys showing up with packages multiple times everyday, plus, Graham buys truck things through Amazon, and my hubby is always purchasing things through them as well.  Someday, I think Amazon may take over the entire world.  I cannot even remember what we ever did without it!

Thanks for reading, friends.  Love to all. 

Monday, February 4, 2019

a little bit of weekending / Hello Monday link up

Thanks, Google Images, for your image. 

Good morning and happy Monday!  I'm linking up with Tanya over at The Other Side of the Road for this post, and meanwhile, I thought I'd share a little of the weekend we had.

On Friday night, we all kinda went our separate ways.  Todd and Graham (my hubby and oldest son, for anyone new) went to a conference for men at our church called Men Matter.  I'm so glad our church did this for the men around town, because as the heads of the home, they have a lot on their shoulders.  Men need friends, perhaps even way more than women.  They really enjoyed the night, and this went through Saturday around lunch. 

While they were gone, Drew, Jonah and Noah went to Taco Bell for dinner.  Later on, Noah went to a friend's house to spend the night.  While they ate dinner, I went to dinner with my best friend.  We promised each other back in December that we would make time to be together more often, since it seems like we NEVER see each other nowadays.  We ate dinner at Huey's, and sat and talked for a good, long time.  I dropped her back off at home, and headed back to mine.  The guys came home and we chatted, then I went to bed. 

They went back to the conference on Saturday morning, and Drew and Jonah went to a basketball game that Drew coached, and I went shopping.  I really need pants, and went to buy some, but even though I found some, none of them screamed for me to buy them.  I'll wait a little longer to buy some.  (I HATE shopping.)  I grabbed some breakfast from McDonald's while I was out, then went to Kroger to grocery shop for the week.  I came back home, changed into comfy clothes and took a nap.  I also read my book, which I finished that night, and then started a new one.  I also started our dinner early, around two, because it had to simmer for three hours.  It was good, and I've made it before, but it made me have instant heartburn, so I was miserable for the rest of the night. 

Yesterday morning found us at church, bright and early for both Todd and me, and then after church I did a few things around the house to get ready for that night.  The boys all ended up having friends over to watch the game, and we had a house full.  I actually left, though, and took some cake to my friend's house and we sat and talked and unmuted the tv every time the commercials came on.  The game would come back on, and we'd turn the sound back off.  I'm laughing at that.  Nobody was at her house, and mine was full, so it seemed like a good idea to go see her and visit for about half the game.  We even watched part of the half time show, but turned it off as well.  We just had zero interest in watching. 

It was a great weekend.  We had lots of time together, which makes my heart smile, and it was restful, even if a little busy.  For today, I have a few things to do involving cleaning and laundry, we have a garage door repairman coming to give us a quote for repairing the door that broke on Friday night, and I'm catching up on bible study homework that I didn't do on Saturday.  I know what's for dinner tonight, and I couldn't be happier about that little fact.  I love when I don't have to stress about dinner.  What are your plans today?  I'd love to hear from you!  Thanks for reading my blog, and thanks for the comments lately...I think a few of you are new to this old blog, and I'm glad you're here.  Have a great day and love to all! 

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