Saturday, November 28, 2009

I survived my first Black Friday managing a clothing store!

Every year I look forward to the day after Thanksgiving. It's the one day a year I get up early (before the sun even!) which is a big deal for a night owl such as myself. It kicks off the Christmas season! I look through all the store adds on Thanksgiving and plot my route. Chose which store I will go to first. I make a list of all the items I want to get at each store, and what they are offering in return. This year I scored a free $10.00 Target Gift Card. A $10.00 off coupon from Kohl's, plus $10.00 in Kohl's cash. And a free Christmas C.D. from Starbucks!

But, this year there was a glitch in my plans. An obstacle to get around. I'm now managing a clothing store in a mall. A mall that opened at 6am that morning. What to do?! Well, I asked the girls working for me if anyone wanted to work that early morning. I would rather they volunteer, instead of me just deciding who it would be. And of course if no one else really wanted to do it, it would be me. (but, I was secretly hoping I would be able to keep the tradition alive and to still go shopping!) I had two girls volunteer. I was happy!

(The morning crew, Left to Right: Brittany, Taylor, Me, and Olivia)

With my girls Olivia & Brittany, opening the store for me, I got up at 5am, and ventured out amongst the crowds of Christmas shoppers & Bargain hunters. I got some great deals! I can't tell you here on what exactly, because my kids read my Blog. (I think they want to make sure I don't embarrass them too much!) I even took the hubby along this year. (I usually go alone, except for the years we lived in Michigan, I had a friend there I talked into going with me, even though she too is a night owl!) John usually sleeps in, then when he's up, he'll call & come out to meet me at Starbucks around 9 or 10. But this year he got up and went all morning with me. It was nice having a driver, drink getter, and body guard! And most importantly a place in line holder, while I shopped! :)

(The evening crew: Taylor, Me, and Justine)
Then I went into work at noon, and worked till about 8:00 that night. Let me tell you, my feet were killing me! We were busy, and had great deals of our own! After all it's called Black Friday, because it's a day that helps put stores in the Black for the year. (As opposed to being in the red!) People were friendly. It was a fun, but long day! And now I can say: I survived my first Black Friday managing a clothing store!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Guest Blogger: Lexi Forbis

This week at school i was asked to do a poem to give thanks to your parents. We had to list things we are thankful for that our mom and dad do for us now, and did when we were younger. They have to be good things not stupid like thanks for the food you give me, thanks for the home I have. It had to be remembering things that they did for you when you were younger, like thanks for helping me, and taking care of me when I was sick, and was a baby. Things like that. And here is my poem I wrote.

By Alexia Forbis

•For helping my pain go away when I cracked my head open twice.

•For taking me to Disneyland when I was in kindergarten through 3rd grade, every summer.

•For the love you give me every day.

•For keeping me strong and brave when I was frightened.

•For letting me know you are there in rough times.

•For telling me: "I can do it, don't give up, keep practicing your Flute."

•For giving me courage in all the things I do.

• For staying home with me when I am sick, when you should be at work.

•For providing me with a loving family, and the warm home you give me.

•For caring about me, and knowing when I do the wrong thing.

•For tucking me in bed when I was little.

•For telling me when times are rough, and I need to know.

•For helping me when I fell at the park and hit my leg on the corner of the balance beam,
and lost some of my shin.

That is what I did for my poem,
<3<3 Lexi

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I am thankful for Family! For years when we lived out of state, it was on Thanksgiving that I missed my family the most. When you have young children, Christmas can never be lonely. But, Thanksgiving with it's traditions, is never the same when you're not at home.

So, now that we are back home in Arizona, within driving distance of both sides of our family, we will celebrate Thanksgiving twice. We could, like many people do, go every other year, to one side of the family, then the next year go to the other side of the family.

But having lived away, and not been able to go to either side, and then John & I have both lost sisters much too young. (both in their 40's!) As well as my Dad. We realize all too well that life can be short.

And we just realize that, this year could be someone we love's last Thanksgiving on earth. And what if this wasn't our year to be with that side of the family?! (And especially this year, as we very well could possibly be moving again in the near future!) So, we decided that as long as it is in our power to do so, we will see both sides of the family on Thanksgiving Day.

So, today we will drive an hour to John's parents house and have Thanksgiving dinner with the Forbis'! Then we will drive another hour up to my brothers house, and play games, hang out, and eat left overs with the Fink's. Then we will drive another hour back home. And that is what we've done every Thanksgiving that we've lived in Arizona. And I wouldn't have it any other way!

We are Blessed to have the families that we have.
And today and everyday, I am Thankful for them.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

New Moon

If you read my last Blog Post (I apologize again for being such a downer!) It's easy to see that we needed a break from reality. My girls have been counting down the days until the New Moon movie was due to come out. I have read all the Twilight books. They have not, and it's not for lack of trying, or should I say begging, to read them, they really want to. But, I told them they need to be a little bit older. They are 12, and the latter books get a little risque.

But they loved the Twilight movie. And couldn't wait for the second one to hit theaters. They begged & begged for me to take them to the midnight premier. Now I'm a pretty cool mom, (at least in my own eyes!) but, not that cool. If it hadn't been a school night, and/or they were just a little bit older, I would have been persuaded. I did buy tickets ahead of time so we could still go on opening day. We went Friday at 8:15pm. It was released at midnight, and had shown pretty much every hour or so that whole day and we still had a long line to wait in! Which I think added to the experience. It was fun, and you know me "The More the Merrier" is my motto!

We even got pretty good seats. (When you battle motion sickness, like I do at times, it's not so good to sit way down front, if you know what I mean) So, we're sitting there in our seats, munching on our Movie Theater Popcorn (Love it!) and waiting excitedly for the movie to begin, and I hear my girls whisper "on the count of three . . .1 2 3" then they yell out "Go Team Jacob!" And people in the theater whistle & cheer for them! That's my girls!

Now, just to be clear, ever since I've read the books. I knew what "team" I was on. The majority of Twilight fans are all about Edward & the Vampires! Not me. Maybe it's because I am 1/8 Native American. Or maybe it's because, if you've ever met my husband or my sons, you would know that I have an affinity for Hairy Men! :) Whatever the reason, I've, from the beginning have sided with Jacob & the Werewolves. And New Moon just shows everyone else why.

The girls & I really had a great time. It was a fun Mother/Daughter Bonding experience. Just what we needed. Maybe when the next one comes out, we'll go at midnight. No promises Erica & Lexi!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Well, It has begun

And by "It" I mean Worry! On the outside I am a very Happy go Lucky kinda girl. But on the inside, not so much! And with John loosing his job, I've had plenty of opportunity to give into it. But, I've tried hard to keep worry at bay . . .

Then, yesterday Erica came home from school. At our school when a student is getting low on lunch money, they stamp their hand as a way of letting their parents know it's time to add some money to that child's lunch account. We'll when they stamped Erica's hand, she told the cafeteria worker that she didn't know if we'd be able to pay it, cause her dad just lost his job. So, the cafeteria worker (I'm trying to be politically correct and not use the term Lunch Lady!) sent her home with a form for us to fill out to see if we qualify for free lunches.

It just broke my heart. My little girl shouldn't have to be thinking about weather or not her parents will be able to afford her school lunches. We did send lunch money in with her today btw. Even though I worry about stuff, I don't want my kids to!

What worry looks like on me is I'm unable to sleep. And then I will end up with a cold sore. I HATE cold sores. I got one last week, took care of it, it went away. And now this week I've gotten another one. Did I mention that I HATE cold sores. Anyway . . . (sorry just got side tracked there for a second)

We also found out yesterday that Zach has to have his Wisdom teeth out. The sooner the better. Or they will mess up all the work his braces did on his teeth. Ouch! Literally and financially! And we're just praying both are cars hold out on us. Neither one is running great. Our mini van we got brand new right after the girls were born is getting close to having 200 Thousand miles on it! We're praying it doesn't finally give out on us. It's been such a great vehicle for us. Kyle said the government should have a program that when a car reaches that many miles, they give you a new one. Great Idea! Talk about a stimulus program.

And of course I worry about Christmas. I love Christmas. I got a Thanksgiving card in the mail this week with a check in it, the card said "have fun doing your day after Thanksgiving shopping!" If you know me, you know that once a year, I get up at the crack of dawn and fight the crowds on Black Friday! It's so much fun & it's exciting. And someone special didn't want me to miss out on that this year. That made my day for sure.

Sorry, this Blog post is so down. Even I can't laugh all the time! Though I try. :) And I do know everything is gonna be okay! God always takes cares us. He is ever faithful! Blogging is Journaling for me, and if I put my thoughts & even my fears down in writing, they are easier to deal with and less scary. It's my therapy I guess. So, I hope that even after this one, you will still come back & continue to read. I'll try to be back to my cherry self! And thanks for allowing me to vent & cry for just a little while.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Yes, It is time once again for Thankful Thursday on the Blog.
I've covered Work, and Love.

Today (And almost Everyday!) :) I am Thankful for my Kids.

I have Four really Great Kids!
Kyle, a party waiting to happen. He's always been a fun kid.
But, also so loving and caring.

Zach, the Thinker. Is smart & Talented.

Erica, is the Princess, (at least in her own mind!)
She loves to read, just like her mom.

Alexia, party girl. A social butterfly.

Even though it is the hardest job there is. I love being a Mom.
My kids mean everything to me.
I am eternally grateful they have come into my life.
God blessed me abundantly when He gave me my Children.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Today is Zach's Birthday. He is 18 years old!
Old enough to Vote! Old enough to be drafted. Old enough . . .

He was my fattest baby, and my skinniest kid!
When he was little, my nieces nicknamed him "Gus Gus",
the fat little mouse in Cinderella!
His little T-shirt never met his diaper, with his little belly sticking out!
(He will just love that I'm sharing this!) :)

He was extremely shy, if an adult were to ever speak to him,
he would hide behind my legs.
And now he can stand in front of hundreds of people,
play his guitar, sing, & lead them in Worship.

He is becoming an Amazing Young Man! We are so Proud of him.

Happy Birthday Zach! Now finally: "You are the Man!" (no longer my little boy!)
We Love you.

Monday, November 16, 2009


My husband got laid off from his job. When you're a Pastor and work for a Church, it means big changes for the entire family. It's not just dad's job, it's our Church. It means leaving all your friends you've had for (in our case) the last Six and a half years. And possibly another cross country move. . . We started working at this Church right before my girls started Kindergarten. They are now in the middle of their 6th grade year. So, needless to say this is the only Church they remember being part of. All their BFF's are there. Their biggest concern is weather or not they will still get to see their friends.

John & his team rocking the house together for the last time!

For our boys it's a whole other issue. Zach is right in the middle of his Senior year of High School. He's worked so hard at getting into the highest Jazz Band, the top 2 choirs, and on the Track team of the largest high school in Arizona. We do not want to move him during his Senior year, where he would have to start all over. And Kyle most likely can't live at home and attend a Bible Collage, as inexpensively anywhere else. And I don't know that I could handle moving away and leaving the boys here. We've had several people tell us that the boys could stay with them for the duration of the school year, if it came to that. But, how do you do that? And it's extremely difficult to find another Church in the same area that needs a Music Pastor.

John singing his heart out, with Zach playing in the background

So, yesterday was our last Sunday at Mesa First. We had a family meeting in the morning before John & the boys left for Church. I just told the kids that "I know today is going to be a hard day, but we will get through it because we have each other, and we have a lot of people who care about us. And even though we are hurt, or sad, or maybe angry, we're going to hold our heads up high, and have class & dignity, we're gonna love on people like we always have. We're not gonna be grouchy, or short with people. Even if you're hurting, we're gonna leave on a high & positive note!" And that's what we tried to do. John lead Worship in the morning and rocked the house! (like he always does) We video taped it, and once it's edited, I'll put it here on the Blog, for all to see & hear. And then they made the announcement. I was fine until everyone stood to their feet clapping for us. Then I started crying.

Me with the girls

After Church my friend, who is the Mom of my girls BFF's, had the girls over. I texted her in the afternoon to ask how the girls were doing. (She had told me her daughter had sobbed for an hour when she heard we were leaving.) She said they were good, and that they were making BFF T-shirts. How cool of her to do that for them. (Thanks so much Michele.) They all four, her two daughters, and my two daughters, wore them last night. They also got BFF necklaces from them.

Isabeau, Erica, Cailin, Lexi

And last night they had a going away reception for us (and the other two Pastor's that got laid off as well). We really felt an outpouring of love for our family. We were given cards & gifts. And was so blessed to have people tell us how we had impacted their lives. And in my girls class they had a going away party for them. And they were really loved on, they were given Flowers, cake, cards, necklaces, and gift cards. We were blown away! That meant so much to us. This is an all girls group. It's our Churches equivalent of Girl scouts. And my girls have just finished the program, and should receive the highest award they can this next year. (Another reason we want to be able to find another Church quickly.)

I guess it takes 3 leaders for 2 girls!
Tandra, Kathy, and Vicky

We got to hear our boys (and Olivia, Kyle's girlfriend) lead Worship in the Youth Group for the last time. And at the end of their service they called the boys up and prayed for them. We told both the boys and Olivia, that if they wanted to stay on as leaders in their Youth group or the College group, they were more than welcome to do that and we would be fine with it. (At least until we knew where we were gonna end up.) They weren't sure if they wanted to do that, with out us being a part of the Church any more, and I understand that. We'll see what happens after some time passes.

Zach leading his peers in Worship

We would greatly appreciate your prayers as we see what God has for us in this next chapter of our lives. I've always been one who actually likes change. I find it exciting, just the prospect of the new and unknown adventure ahead of us. But, at the same time, I am scared to death. How we will provide for our family? And of course, Christmas is right around the corner. (If you follow me on Twitter, you know it is just 39 days from today! Yikes!) Where we will end up? If we'll have to move? How that will impact the kids? I can tell you with all certainty, that moving when your kids are younger is MUCH easier than when they are older. We've had four cross country moves. But, when your kids have their own close friends & their own lives, it is much harder on them to leave. When their younger they bounce back so fast. It hurts much more the older they are.

The Little Drummer Boy, Kyle

Olivia, on stage, ready to sing

And we want to say a great big Thank You to Mesa First.
For the outpouring of love to our family,
and for the many years of memories that we take with us.
Even though we are leaving,
you will always be a part of our lives.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Every Thursday for the month of November is what I'm calling Thankful Thursday. I started off the month last week, by letting you know how thankful I am for work. And I'd like to continue today by sharing how thankful I am for Love.

First of all for the Love of God. A God who loved me enough to send His only Son to die on a cross for my Forgiveness and Salvation. (John 3:16) A God who knew me before I was born, and has a plan for my life. (Psalm 139) A God who knows my name. (Psalm 147:4) A God who is Love. (I John 4:7-11)

And second, for the Love of a good man. My husband John. We've been married for over 22 years now. Many of them have been wonderful years. Not all of them have been easy, but we've gotten through the rough times together. And came out stronger for having gone through them.

This is a song that sums it up:

City of Love
By Martina McBride

This is no yellow brick road
we've been travelin' on
A river of tears washed us here
We're right where we belong

We rode it out, no we didn't drown
And look at what we've found

Every street we take is paved with Truth
If a mountain's in our way that's a mountain we move
Baby there ain't nothin' we can't do
Since me and you built this city of Love

Through shiftin' sand with our own hands
We dug to solid ground
Where we found out what loves about
Yeah, there's no stoppin' us now

Yeah, on our own stone by stone
We built a fortress strong

Where every street we take is paved with Truth
If a mountain's in our way that's a mountain we move
Baby there ain't nothin' we can't do
Since me and you built this city of Love
This City of Love

I Love you John, and Thank you for loving me. And God, there is no Love like Your Love. Thank you is not enough. Yes, this Thanksgiving, and all year long, I am thankful to have Love in my life. Please share with me what you are thankful for . . .

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Game of Life

This month at our Church, we're doing a series called The Game of Life! You remember playing that game don't you? You can get married, have kids, go to school, get a career, earn & spend money, etc., etc., etc.

(Pastor Jeff, taking a spin!)

The first week we talked about marriage. How besides your relationship with God, it is the most important relationship you have. And how we need to nourish that relationship.

(You can kind of see the stage set-up,
That's my man rocking out!)

This week we talked about parenting. How it's the most important job we have. Pastor Jeff asked, for fun, Which of these T.V. shows displays the best example of parenting? My first thought was The Cosby Show! Until he gave us our choices. (We had to text in our answer and then later in the service we'd see the results) The choices were:

A. Leave it to Beaver

B. The Brady Bunch

C. The Cosby Show

D. Seventh Heaven

As I said, my first thought was The Cosby Show. Look at the title of my Blog. I love parenting with humor! That was until he said, Seventh Heaven. I loved that show! It was about a Pastor & his family. And yes, it was a little cheesy, and they could always solve any problem, no matter how big in an hour episode. But, I loved that they always talked about everything & anything. And I'm a talker! But, I came in second. The Cosby Show got the most votes. (I can live with that) Then Seventh Heaven, Then Leave it to Beaver, and last, but not least, The Brady Bunch. (which I've always loved too!) Which would have voted for?

(John leading Worship; they did an acoustic set this week.
I know it's not real clear, but that's Kyle on the drums behind his dad,
and Zach on the guitar to the right.
Like Father, like sons!)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Babysitting 101

More proof that my girls are growing up. . . tonight they "practiced" Babysitting. Yes, they are 12 years old now, that magical age that we've always told them they could start Babysitting at. (They've been asking for a couple of years now.) They went over to a friends house, who will be turning 12 this next year, and then another friend left their two little girls there with the three Pre-teens. John & I were home all night if they had needed to get a hold of us. We don't live too far from where they were at.

They had so much fun. And, according to them, they did a great job! "See Mom, we told you we're old enough to Babysit!" I heard from them more than once. (But, I guess with Twins, I hear everything twice anyway!)

When they got home I told them I was gonna call the house & say in a whisper "Have you checked the children?" Lexi said, "and I would have said, 'Mom, I know it's you!'" After all that's what my friends did to me when I was a teenager & Babysat! At least after the movie When A Stranger Calls came out. If you like scary movies, it's a good one! (And of course my girls have not seen that movie!) Zach likes suspenseful movies, so he & I had a Mother/Son bonding time watching the new remake of it! He loved hearing how scary the first one was to me as a teenage girl babysitting! I haven't been able to find the original yet, for him to see. But I digress.

So, now I have two 12 year old girls, who really want to start Babysitting for real. They may be ready for this, but I don't know if I am. They are supposed to be babysat, not doing the sitting! I guess I better gear up for our own Adventures In Babysitting! (another movie from back in the day!) I'm really aging myself with this Blog post, aren't I?! Any advice for the Mother of girls who babysit?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I'm starting something new on the Blog, in honor of Thanksgiving. For the month of November, every Thursday will be "Thankful Thursday!" Where I'll just talk about something I'm thankful for. And I hope you will share with me some of the things you are thankful for as well. Because we all have so much to be thankful for.

I am thankful for work. My job, and yes, my paycheck! In this economy it is such a blessing to be able to work and to have a job. There are so many people out of work & struggling right now. And, though we are not well off by any means, when I was in New York City last summer on that Missions Trip, I met many homeless people, who had lost their jobs, and couldn't find another one. I realized it can really happen to anyone. Good people down on their luck. Or, who's bad choices, or circumstances beyond their control, left there mark on their lives. I'm so happy to be able to work.

And it is such a blessing to love what you do. And to really like your job. There is a saying that goes "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." I really do love my job. It's fun and challenging. Not to mention the clothes! :) I work for a good company. And the mall is less than 5 minuets from my house now. That makes it so nice. I may not get rich doing it, just like being in the ministry and working for a Church, but it helps. I'm so thankful to have a job that I really enjoy. Thank you God, for my job.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Playing Dress Up!

I thought, just for fun, I'd share with you our families costumes for Halloween:

I was a Hawaiian girl, and John was a Baseball Player!

I needed to be something I could work in, that was comfortable & cute!
We dressed up for work that day! It was fun.

Kyle was a "Surfer Dude" with Olivia as his Life Guard!

I think he liked that long blond wig a little too much!

Then, my girls, being on the Twilight bandwagon, would only go as Vampires!



That evening some friends had us over to eat, play games,
hand out candy & Trick or Treat.

And Zach went as a Rubik's Cube!

He can actually do a Rubik's Cube!
His record is 59 seconds,
from when you hand him one, all messed up,
for him to have it all put together right!
(I can not even come close to solving it!)

This is what we did with his costume at the end of the night,
put it on the fire pit!
And watched it go up in flames!
Talk about ending the night with a big bang!

I hope you & yours had a fun and safe weekend too!