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Away Into the Manger

Ellie was just in a preschool play at church.

Yes, I said preschool even though Ellie is in middle school.
The preschool at our church is run by the youth minister's wife who also helps lead a bible study that my girls are part of.

She asked Ellie to be the LEAD in the play for a few different reasons:

•She can read. Which is good since her part was really big. It's easy to forget that preschoolers can't read…yet.
•She leans towards the dramatic. !!!
•She has aspirations for the stage. She was just in the Orphan Choir for the production of Annie, as you may remember. She rocked "It's a Hard Knock Life" with the broom.


Even though Ellie practiced her lines at home, 
unless I was willing to pull her out of school so she could go to preschool for the day,  (which I wasn't with finals coming up)
there was no time to rehearse with the kids.
It came to my attention that Ellie would need a biblical costume.
Think nativity scene.
No big deal.  Costumes are my thing.
Or…

Tuesdays Unwrapped--#3

Here is my 3rd installment in Emily Freeman's Tuesdays Unwrapped series that I am linking up with.

Monte and I went to see Bill Cosby a few weekends ago.

We bought the tickets as an anniversary gift to each other. 
We celebrated 18 years on the 16th.
We drove through a snow storm to get downtown to the theater.
We had planned to eat at a nice restaurant nearby before the show.
Did research on places and everything.
It took WAY longer to get downtown than we had anticipated
and once we parked and Monte pointed to a tall building not exactly by the theater  and said the restaurant was 3 blocks BEHIND it, 
we decided to go somewhere closer.
Did I mention it was snowing HARD?
SIDEWAYS?
It was like a Christmas episode of Little House on the Prairie.
Monte and I were bundled up and I just hung on to him as he led me, 
hopefully, 
to some place that served food.
Close.
I couldn't see as there were so many snowflakes on my eyelashes, I could no longer open my eyes.
Thank goodness I brought …

Tuesdays Unwrapped--#2

I hesitate to even say this out loud (or in type)

but I am not stressed this holiday season.


I could follow that up with a "yet",
assuming that it is only December 10th and I haven't planned the 
Christmas Eve meal 
or Christmas Day breakfast 
but those thoughts don't produce even a distant hint of stress. 

It will get done, 
just like all the gifts on order will arrive
and get wrapped,
and the crafty gifts I want to make
will. get. made.
So on this Tuesday,
just 14 days from Christmas Eve,
I will unwrap this peace.



Because we woke up this morning to a lot more snow than we were expected to get and cars needed scraped and driveways shoveled

and Ellie was so congested we kept her home from school and when I called the attendance line at school I left my MAIDEN name that I haven't had in almost 18 years
then I left the name of the wrong daughter
which I clumsily corrected and then hung up.
But today, STILL
I have PEACE


and I am going to enjoy it.

Paper Cuts

No, that isn't some cute play on words referring to a short cut on some paper craft

but that would be quite the sweet name for such a post, wouldn't it?
No, this is about paper cuts.
For real.
I don't like them.
Not that anyone can claim paper cuts as their favorite,
but I REALLY don't like them.
I could easily be forced to share sensitive governmental secrets with just the threat of paper cuts.
If anyone ever trusted me with governmental secrets.
But given my above confession, 
I am pretty sure I would be a threat to national security.

This paper cut issue comes with just cause.
It was the 1st day of 1st grade,

oh yeah, me and paper cuts go WAY back.
My teacher handed me an oversized coloring book and said I could pick any picture I wanted to color and tear it out of the book.
I looked closely over my options and picked a picture. As I was tearing the enormous sheet of paper out of the book,
do you see where this is headed?
I got a paper cut on the tiny piece of skin underneat…

Gift Giving Ideas (Or Not)

I don't know about everyone else, but this late Thanksgiving has made the gift figuring out and purchasing seem a little more crunched and frantic.

Or is it just me??
I am a big online shopper.

I don't handle long lines

or malls
well.
I thought I would share some ideas based on AWESOME gifts I have either received or purchased.

Decorative pillows.

I love throw pillows. Sumita gave this to me for my birthday.






Love the pillows from  Altar'd State.



Hand made gifts.
These are always my most favorite gifts to give and receive.
Julie made these candle holders for me for my birthday from a birch tree that fell in her backyard.
I LOVE THEM!


 My other friend Julie had these cuties in her house. I have to make some (just not sure it will happen before Christmas).







 Gloves.

Sumita also gave me a pair of texting glov

Tuesdays Unwrapped '13

Better late than never, but I am going to attempt to participate in Emily Freeman's Tuesdays Unwrapped.

Head over to Chatting at the Sky and read her post about it.
It has been a crazy busy last three days but the only thing I can think of to write about is a few people I came across living these crazy busy days.
Monday McDaniel got her braces off. 
Amen. 
Her mouth and our pocket book were ecstatic. 
Do people say pocket book anymore?
I took a picture of McDaniel with her braces still on in the waiting room as a "before" shot.
Another mom noticed and mentioned that she was waiting on her daughter to get her braces off as well.
It was her third daughter to have braces.
Her fourth daughter is getting ready to get them.
Four daughters with four different sets of braces.
The appointments.
The bills.
She was a happy woman with a contagious laugh.
She said she has told her daughters since they were little that they each would need to give her $300 a month to support her when she …

Humbled. In a Grocery Store.

I like to think that I am not easily "thrown".

You know,

thrown into a tizzy,
a fit of rage,
a bad mood.
But in one weekend,

two visits to different grocery stores exposed just how easily I can trade 
my peace,
my mood,
my sanity.
And for very little.
It is not like I witnessed a crime

or a social injustice.
Nope.
I just got stuck behind a bunch of people in line for a wine tasting at Whole Foods when I was trying to get some soup for my sick Ellie.

I wanted a quick in and out.
But everyone was having a great festive time tasting wine

all pushing empty carts which took up the entire width of 
every aisle I attempted to walk down.

Fru.Strating.
I crashed into the back of one woman who decided to stop pushing her empty cart quite suddenly in the middle of an aisle.

I didn't even say sorry or oops.
I just sighed loudly and
kinda shoved myself off of her.
Not super proud of that.

But that wasn't my worst moment of the weekend. (She said in a very shameful whisper with her head on the t…

Dog Tea

Every year I throw a tea for Carisa (and me)

to celebrate our birthdays.
Hey, it's MY party and I'll throw it if I want to.
I was drawing a big fat blank on ideas this year when my friend Julie came up with a dog theme.

DUH!

Carisa LOVES dogs.
Like it-is-her-passion-kinda-loves dogs.
She rescues them.
And they rescue her right back.
Oh my goodness, did anyone else hear music  in the background and envision an entire Hallmark movie??
I can just see her driving one of those cute mobile dog grooming trucks with her cartoon picture on the side saying something in one of those conversation bubbles like,

"Hey, y'all, let me cut your dog's hair."
Except WAY more clever than that.
But definitely keeping the y'all part.
Anyhoo…Julie nailed it.

A dog theme was born.
I went to Dollar Tree and bought a bunch of dog collars.



The idea was to add some "bling" and make them into bracelets.


Life happened so the bling adding didn't.
But we kept them in the favor bags a…