Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful Thursday

As a little girl, I remember waking up on Thanksgiving morning & smelling the smells of delicious food cooking & hearing the sounds of family, and the Thanksgiving Day Parade on T.V. I still love watching the parade every year! It's changed over the years. Modern music & dancing has been added. But a few things are still the same, the giant balloons, marching bands, and The Thanksgiving Day Parade ends the exact same way year after year, with the arrival of Santa!

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Then and Now!

Yes, on this Thankful Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, I am Thankful for the Holidays! Especially Christmas! I LOVE all things Christmas! The Movies: some of my favorites are It's a Wonderful Life, The Family Man, Elf, A Christmas Story, White Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Jingle All the Way, (this list could go on forever, so I'll stop there.) I love the decorations & the lights, the traditions we do together as a family like going to see Christmas lights, getting the kids picture taken with Santa (yes even at this age!) making cookies.

I love the music: too many favorites to name! I really don't get people getting upset at hearing Christmas music before Thanksgiving! I mean you think I had committed the unpardonable sin. And come on, there is no Thanksgiving music! You listen to "regular" music 11 months of the year, and Christmas music for maybe 4 weeks. But if I turn on the Christmas music before Thanksgiving look out. People on the rampage! I think Christmas music just lifts your spirits! Even here in Phoenix, in the middle of summer with the temperature at 122 degrees, if someone is having a Christmas in July sale & you hear a little Jingle Bells, it just makes you happy & brightens your day! Am I wrong? No. And Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, are all part of the Holiday season. And I think Christmas music celebrates them all. I'm not skipping Thanksgiving or forgetting about it by turning the Christmas music on early! I'm just enjoying it more!

It's never too early for Christmas in my opinion. And working in retail only confirms that theory. Retail of course is always a season ahead. If you wait till summer to start shopping for a bathing suit, you'll have a hard time finding a good one, cause there gone! And the Holidays start early in retail, we have to be ready when the shoppers are! That's why you'll always see items out early, if stores waited until you were ready to start decorating, you couldn't find what you needed, and everyone would be fighting to get what they want when they need it. So lets stop the complaining! This is the time to be Merry! When my family came to visit my Bath & Body Works store right after Halloween, and saw how it was decorated for the Holidays & that we were playing Christmas music, the first words out of their mouths was "This is the perfect place for you to work!" :) And their right. And It really is the most wonderful time of the year!
There really is something to The Christmas Spirit!
People are just more Thankful & Giving!
Have a wonderful day today with those you love.

Happy Thanksgiving
Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Get Ready, It's Coming!

This Friday! The Busiest Shopping Day of the Year!
I Am NOT a Morning person, except for that 1 day of the year!
I get the ads on Thanksgiving & make my list!

It's called Black Friday,
because that is the day retail stores get out of "the Red"
& start turning a prophet for the year!
It's a win, win! For Retailers, the Economy & Shoppers alike!

Read about my experience last year
managing a Clothing Store over Black Friday!
This year, I'll be at Bath & Body Works!
The number 1 Gift Giving destination!
It's gonna be fun!

Twisted Peppermint is my most favorite fragrance!
Come in & I'll sell you some, so you can smell as good as I do! :)
We open at 6am on Friday.

We'll have our V.I.P. Bag.
It's a great bag, full of products!
A $115.00 value, that with a $40.00 purchase, you can buy for just $20.00!
Plus we'll have all kinds of great sales too!
The bags will go fast, so get there early!

I'll be there at 10:00am!
Of course, I have to shop first!
Can't wait!
See you in line! :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday

As a "Mommy Blogger" I talk a lot about my kids! (That's an understatement I know!) I am very Thankful to be a Mother, and for the four great kids I've been blessed to call mine. I've talked this past year about my first born turning 20, and about my twin baby girls becoming teenagers! But today, this Thankful Thursday, happens to fall on my second son, Zach's 19th Birthday!

When Zach was born, Nov. 18th, 1991, my first son Kyle was only 16 months old. And we had not slept much in those 16 months. To put it nicely, Kyle was a very high maintenance child. I honestly didn't know how I would handle another one. I shouldn't have worried.

Zach slept through the night solidly from about 6 weeks on. (I was VERY Thankful for that!) And where Kyle always needed to be entertained, Zach kept himself entertained. He was the type of kid that you could give some matchbox cars, or some army men to, and he would literally sit there for hours, content to play alone, in the little world he created. One day John & I were watching him play & we said could you imagine if someone had an only child & that child were like Zach? They wouldn't really know what parenting was!

Out of my 4 children, Zach is really the ONLY truly shy one. The rest of us are loud & boisterous, even the girls are learning to like being the center of attention. We like crowds & being around people, the more the merrier! All except for Zach. He has always been content to just be at home. A real homebody! When an adult would ever speak to Zach (even adults he knew) he would hide behind my leg.

Raising him was a real challenge for John & I. We didn't want to ever force him to have to be more like us, cause that's just not him. But we worried about him spending too much time alone. We tried to encourage him to be less shy & to make friends. When he was little he was fine with just being with Kyle & his friends, then when he started pre-school he naturally made his own friends. And it was in Jr. High & High School that he really came into his own. Senior year he made good friends & started a Long Boarding Company, and would stay out all hours of the night Long Boarding, cause that's when the parking garages are not in use. :)

Zach is very smart & has always gotten really good grades. He has an academic scholarship that is paying for College right now. (Another thing I am extremely grateful for!) I remember getting a call from his Elementary school (whenever the school called, we always KNEW they were calling about Kyle! And all but for this one time we were right!) This one was about Zach, he was in about 3rd, or 4th grade & his class was lined up & walking some place on campus, one of his friends had to tie his shoe, so a few of them waited for him, when he was done the class was long gone, so the group of boys decided to go around the building to catch up. Well the other side of the building was "off campus" & they thought the boys were trying to leave school. The other parents might have been upset, not us. We were thrilled! Zach got in trouble at school, and with other kids! :) We thought it was great! We were talking about this "incident" recently and Zach was saying how they scared him so bad, telling him this would permanently be on his record and that colleges would not look favorably on it! Now that he's in college, he sees how ridiculous that is, but to a kid, how frightening! I guess it scared him straight! :)

All of his life people have always told me how quiet Zach is. I just say "Just wait till you get to know him." Because when you do, you will see, he's actually the funniest & most sarcastic of us all! Hard to imagine, I know! And get him started on certain subjects & he won't stop talking! Believe me!

So, today my baby boy turns 19! He goes back in forth between majoring in Music or in History in College. He is an Awesome Guitar player! But, right now he's looking into career fields in intelligence in the military. That is very scary for me. We will see where he ends up, he has the whole world ahead of him. And on this Thankful Thursday I am extremely grateful he is my son.

Happy Birthday Zach!
We Love You.
And are very Proud of you,
Today & Everyday!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I had the day off yesterday, that is kinda rare being that it was a Saturday and the fact that I work in retail, with the Holiday's fast approaching! So we wanted to do something fun & different. And we did.

I had heard on the radio that The Festival of Greece (the Country, not the Movie! Though you know, I would have loved that too!) :) was being held in Scottsdale. So we decided to go. We go every year to the Hula Festival, but have never really been to any others.

Some young Greek Dancers

I love celebrating & learning about other Cultures and Country's. They have live music, story telling and dancing throughout the day, a lot of kid friendly activities too, though my kids are too big for that now. Sad.

Lexi & Erica posing with the Greek Statues

And Greek food is my favorite food! We all love it. Studies show the healthiest diet in the world is the Mediterranean Diet. Bonus. We ate Gyros and Baklava! Yum. Kyle wanted to go to the first aid station & tell them he hurt his elbow, to see if they would just pull out a bottle of Windex & spray him with it! (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) :)

Olivia & Kyle

They have booths with Food, Drinks, Artwork, Handmade Crafts, Jewelery, Clothes, Books, etc. John got some homemade flavored Pastas, his favorite thing to cook. The girls & I each picked out some beautiful handcrafted earrings!

Our goodies

The weather was Beautiful here in Arizona. It was a great way to spend my day off. And a fun & different "Forbis Family Fun Day!" I've always wanted to go to Greece! Now, more than ever!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday

This week's Thankful Thursday is taking a Social turn. I've have been called a Social Butterfly a time or two! :) And today I am Thankful for Social Media!

Let me start with Facebook: When my son was in High School, we were having a conversation about how when you are in High School, your whole world revolves around your friends! You are consumed by what they may or may not think of you, weather or not the right people like you or don't like you, etc. (though this is much more apparent in girls than in boys, or at least that is my experience!) And I was sharing with him that once you graduate, all that "stuff" no longer matters! And that most of those people you probably will never even see again. Then he reminded me that thanks to networking sites like Facebook & Myspace, people can, & are staying much more connected these days. That is so true! Due to Facebook & sites like it, the world today is a much smaller place! I recently met up with many friends I have not seen since High School (& that has now been over 25 years, but don't tell anyone I'm that old!) and it was due to Facebook where we all reconnected. You can read my thoughts about it & my Letter To My High School Self here. It's kind of a strange phenomenon that you can not see or talk to someone for many years & find each other on Facebook & suddenly you can know what that person is doing everyday if you want to! And it's just plain ol' fun! I've reconnected with childhood friends, "kids" that were in our Youth Group in another state, who are now all grown up & have kids of their own! Now that's scary! We used to keep in touch with friends & family members through Christmas cards once a year, but people move & it's easy to lose touch, it's a sad thing. But their Facebook page is always there (unless they delete it) & it's so much easier now to stay connected with all the people you care about & it can help new people you meet to get to know you better & quicker through your status updates & photos! Here's a link to my Facebook page. Friend me, if you dare! :) When we were planning Zach's graduation party, he of course didn't have addresses for all his friends, so we created an Invitation on Facebook & within minutes, over 300 invites were sent out via Social Media! And not having to pay all that postage is something else to be thankful for! Not to mention not having to lick all those envelopes! Yuck!

Next we're onto Twitter. If you are not on Twitter you should be! It is the coolest thing ever! The best way to explain it is that it's kind of like your Facebook status updates. You have 140 characters (& no more!) to answer the question: What are you doing?! You can put quotes, feelings or thoughts out there, they are called Tweets. (Tweet is what you do, Twitter is where you do it!) My kids have competitions to see who can get quoted the most by me on Twitter! :) They know that nothing they say or do is safe with a Mother who Tweets & Blogs! Company's are on Twitter promoting their products & letting their followers know about deals & discounts, etc. I promote my Blog & my store both on Facebook & on Twitter! You can follow Celebrities, Television shows, Professional Athletes, just about anyone! On Facebook you have "Friends", on Twitter you have "Followers." I tweet about books I'm reading & have met some authors who's work I love on Twitter! No kidding! I follow both, people I know & people I don't, I follow some politicians, and my favorite music groups, as well as other Bloggers & other Pastor's Wives or Mom's. I've had my local Mall, a local News Anchor, Book stores & Authors Tweet me. (That means they have either written a Tweet to me or about me) The T.V. shows The View & Bravo's The Real Housewives have Tweeted me! (Yeah, I'm famous!) You can read my Tweets here. And if you're on Twitter, let me know, and I will Follow you too! Try it you'll love it! And you can Tweet quote me on that!

And last, but certainly not least is Blogging. I love to Blog. It's my on line Journal, my Soap Box, my Dear Diary, a Scrapbook, a History Book, a Book Club, a Photo Album, an Outlet, my Therapy and so much more! My kids know that anything they say or do can very well end up being a Blog Post! And they like that. (If they ever didn't, trust me it wouldn't be on the Blog!) I laugh out loud and I cry as I pour my heart into my Blog. I've gotten tips and advice, and have learned how to do many things from reading other Blogs. I've discovered movies, plays, recipes & books I wouldn't have through someone else who Blogged about it. I've met many people I truly consider my friends, who I would have never met any other way, from all around the world, through our Blogs. Yes, in this day & age, Social Media plays a big role in our lives, and I for one am very Thankful for it. And Thank You, my readers, for being part of my Social Network. I am truly grateful.

I saw this quote on Twitter, and had to share it with you:

"Dance like the picture's not being tagged.
Love like you've never been unfriended.
Tweet like no one's following!"

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It's Kind Of A Funny Story

Today we went to see the movie It's Kind of a funny story. And I kind of really liked it. When I saw the preview awhile ago, I thought then that I'd like to see it. It's been out now for awhile, but, I've been working a lot, so today was the day. And I'm glad I saw it.

Come to find out It's based on a book. (Aren't all the good movies?!) Which makes one more I have to add to my long "to Read" list! It's about a 16 year old boy who is dealing with depression & has thoughts of suicide. So, he talks himself into a psych ward at a hospital where he meets a lot of characters. (pun intended!) :) It's just a really sweet & touching story of how he affects the lives of those around him & as a result his own.

I also wanted to see this movie because Lauren Graham is in it! One of my favorite actresses from my two favorite T.V. shows: Gilmore Girls & Parenthood! And of course she was wonderful as the main characters mom.

And Emma Roberts, from one of my favorite movies: Nancy Drew, was in it too. She played a young girl in the hospital for depression & for cutting herself. I thought she portrayed the character with honesty & vulnerability. And became the love interest of the main character. And my girls loved the T-shirt she wore in this scene. Where can I get one for them?! :)

Okay, It's not life changing, but you leave this movie just feeling good about life! So, I leave you with a couple of quotes I took away from It's Kind Of A Funny Story . . .

"You're cool. You're smart. You're talented.
You have a family that loves you.
You know what I would do just to be you for just a day?
I would do so much.
I would, I don't know,
I'd just. . . LIVE.
Like it meant something."

"Skip, I know it's lame, but I do it anyway!"

We should all skip a little more often!
And live like it means something! Because it does.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Last year during the month of November I started something new on the Blog. I called it Thankful Thursdays. And every Thursday during the month I wrote about things I am Thankful for. I talked about my work. (Different job than this year, but the principle still applies!) Then I talked of Love! (Love of God & that of a good man.) My Children. (Yes, all four of them!) And lastly I spoke of Family. We are so Blessed. Well I'm making it an annual tradition! Every Thursday this month will be Thankful Thursday! And I hope you too will share some of the things in your life that you are grateful for. Because we do have SO MUCH to be Thankful for! So, let's get started . . .

To tell you about what I'm Thankful for today, I need to share some back ground: as you know we are a family of 6 & after our mini van finally died (after over 200,000 miles & 12 years!) we were down to 2 small cars (each only seat up to 5 people) so anywhere we go as a family we have to take 2 vehicles. And the biggest problems are one is only a two door car and a stick shift (which I never learned how to drive! I know, don't judge me!) and the other car, the transmission is going out, & we are basically driving it until we can't anymore. My son, Kyle drives that one the most and is saving money to buy a car. He also works & goes to College in downtown Phoenix, so that's where that car is most of the time. That left John's little (2 door) to get him & I to work, Zach to all his College classes & the girls anywhere they may need to go!

It wasn't that bad while I was not working. John took me to job interviews & waited in a near by Starbucks, he rearranged his schedule to fit Zach's school schedule in & Kyle could help get Zach or the girls where they needed to go on day's he didn't work. We knew with both of us losing our jobs, we couldn't possibly finance another car. I purposefully looked for jobs close to home that I could walk to or ride a bike to get there if I needed to. Then I got the call from a different Bath & Body works who had gotten my name from the manager by the closer one that Interviewed me. She knew they were looking to hire a Co Manager & thought I'd be a great fit. It was looking good for me to get the job. The only problem was that store was about a half hour drive from my house. How on earth would we work that out with our car situation?!

My Mom had been talking about trading her car in to get a newer one. When my Dad passed away, who had driven her everywhere, she had to start driving more & sold his full size conversion van & gotten a more manageable mode of transportation. She got a new, 2004 Hyundai Elantra & has had it now all this time & has only put 32,000 miles on it. Well she got her another new Hyundai, a Sonata this time. But, instead of trading her old one in, she kept it, and gave it to me! I could not believe it! What a Blessing. What an answer to Prayer. So, to start off my Thankful Thursday's I am thankful for my car!

My car is Beautiful! I think this is the first car I've ever had with automatic windows! Even when we bought our mini van brand new, to cut cost, we went with the regular roll down kind! I picked up a friend of mine in my new car soon after I got it, (not to mention any names, Tandra) :) and she commented that I'm Cinderella, with my gilded carriage! (since the car is golden) I loved that! That's kinda how I feel. I always knew my Mom was like a fairy godmother! :) One of my first thoughts was, now I can put my little Hula girl sticker on my window! It's funny the little things we think of that can make us so happy. Hula is close to my heart. And just so John wouldn't feel bad when he drives it, I let him put an Apple sticker on too!

And I had a fun vanity license plate made for the front of the car with my signature "Star4Laughs" on it! Have I mentioned that I love my car?! And with my new job a half hour drive away, & our new Church is a half hour drive, in the other direction, it has literally been a life saver! So for this first installment of Thankful Thursday, I had to show it off. I am so thankful to have it!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy HallowTEENS!!

My girls became teenagers this month, and we wanted to celebrate in a big way! So we threw a Halloween Birthday Bash! I figured with a costume contest & Trick or Treating, I wouldn't have to plan a bunch of party games. And we had a frightfully good time!

Erica was a Black Cat! "Meow!"
I can't help but notice how with all that eye make-up on
she looks a little too much like her mother! Scary!

Lexi was Tinkerbell!

Even our dog (the real Tinkerbell) got in on the act,
she was a ballerina!

It didn't last long!
She, unlike most of the family does not like to play dress up!

Kyle was a world cup soccer player.

We even talked Kyle's girlfriend Olivia into dressing up.
She's not quite into it like the rest of us, but we're working on it!
And doesn't she make the cutest cupcake?!

And of course I had to get in on the act as Farm girl!
I said "Howdy" a lot that night!

We had a Samurai.

A Butterfly.
The next day my house was still full of Glitter! :)

An 80's chick!
And you know how I <3 80="" br="" s="" the="">

A Pirate!
Arrr Matey!

A Guitar!
I gave her fair warning that my Husband John,
my son Zach, & Olivia are all guitar players.
And she may be taking her life in her own hands by coming here! :)

And the girl from the movie The Ring. :0

Zach was a mafia Body guard
making sure the girls were safe in the neighborhood.
Don't mess with him!

They all got so much candy!
We came home from Trick or Treating & they sorted it all out
& started trading what they didn't like for what they did!

The girls had a fun time celebrating becoming Teenagers with their friends!
And talk about scary, as a mom, having 2 teenage girls in the house! EEK!

Happy Birthday Erica & Lexi
And Happy HallowTeens!