Sunday, November 29, 2009

Black Friday Bonding

As is my tradition, I hit it out again this year for some fun shopping on Black Friday. This was the earliest that I can remember getting out there though! I would like to digress now to the year when both my sisters and I drug our elementary aged girls out for a Black Friday find. We got to the store at about 7:00 as I recall. It was a very cold day and the fellow shoppers were all staying in their cars to keep warm. We were so grateful! My sister Chrissy decided to get out of the car to throw away some donut trash and it caused a mass exodus from the other cars. We of course had to follow suit. We stood in the cold for some time to get in the store and recieve our cheesy free gift. The girls were not happy to say the least. They were still talking about it this year. Chrissy, in her defense has never been much of a shopper and had no idea of the mahem she could cause.
Back to 2009, my niece Staci agreed to go with me to Target where we wanted to get a coveted 32 in Flat Screen TV for a mere $246.00. We both slept a couple of hours and then met at the store at 3:00 AM with our supplies. I brought the blanket and she brought the lawn chairs. There were already about 100 people in line when we got there! Staci began to unfold one of our lawn chairs which was very confusing. I couldn't figure out how this chair worked, it looked like a mini-bed. Finally Staci realized that it wasn't a chair at all but a fold out table. About that time the line started to move so she folded up the table and ran to the car to put it up. The target guy moved us to the other side of the building where we perched for the next 2 hours. Part of the adventure is the new friends that you make in line. We were surrounded by some very excited talkative people. It was quite fun! The line began to move for real and 3 preppy little soroity girls ran past us all for the front door. The whole line started yelling at the cop "They cut in line". Yay, they were stopped at the door and they looked very mad that they had been stopped but justice had been served. When we got in Target it was a free for all! I was trying to get a basket to get my TV but people were running everywhere so I grabed it and pulled it behind me. Somehow in all the craziness I ran over my own heal with my basket, and incurred my first Black Friday injury. Staci started getting the TVs and I was trying to put them in the basket, as I was lifting the TV to my basket, it had a run away and I missed the basket totally. I was so focused that I didn't even pee in my pants! We finally secured the TVs and just pulled aside for a moment to regroup. I looked over to where a bin of $5.00 PJ's were and there was a sight that could have made me the You Tube video of the day. A lady was fully bent into the basket with her whole crack exposed! Oh how I wished I would not have seen that! Later in the day I was at Pennys getting some boots for my niece. My sister, Carrie had now joined me. There were women everywhere. I had put my boots in a chair next to me and they fell upon some ladies feet. I reached down to get them and I was face to face with a sea of hairy legged women. My husbund does not have this kind of hair on his legs! My Sister just looked at me very straight faced and said "That was unfortunate"! A few hours later I met up with my daughter Denae and son-in-law Chris. Chris was a newby to Black Friday. He said the whole thing had kind of been a disappointment to him because he thought we were going to have more time to hang out together during the shopping.
Actually, that has been my favorite part of Black Friday over the years, it's been the memories that I have accumulated with many different family members and friends, it's the bonding that takes place that is the most fun to me even though I did get some great buys also. I am so thankful for my family, they make my life so fun, I know that they are very proud of me that I kept myself under control and did not laugh too hard this year. Black Friday ended for me at 10:00 AM. I was starting to see spots and get disoriented so I decided I better hit the bed. It was also the time where people come out shopping looking good. I can tell you that I looked far from good with my hat hair and wrinkled clothes! Bring on more Black Friday Bonding!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Have Sinned

I thought that title might get you! September-October was about the craziest month I have ever experieced! We had the fair, where I worked selling corn dogs about 12 hours a day for 10 days. During that time we also had 2 weddings and 2 funerals. To top it off I found out that I am having 2 new grandbabies! Wow, I think I experienced about all the emotion you can experience in that short time period. I was in serious need of a break, just a place to be able to relax and not feel any pressure.
Our church gave us a vacation for Pastor Appreciation and the only time we could go before the holidays was the next week so we had to purchase a last minute vacation that wasn't going to cost a fortune. I found Las Vegas. We had never been there before and I thought there wouldn't be that much we would want to do so it would be a good place to relax and rest. Boy was I wrong! I loved it! The hotels were amazing. I have never seen such beautiful buildings. My FB friends gave me all kinds of suggestions of things to do. I did mot of them, we were only there for 4 days and there was still so much to do.
I chose a hotel off of the strip because I didn't know what to expect there. It was wonderful but it was a few miles away from everything. We decided to be adventurous and take the bus instead of renting a car. The bus ride included having to take a change bus at the station. We got to ride with the locals on the first bus and then joined the tourists on the second bus. All of this could take up to an hour and a half to get to our destination! The first night we were at the bus station at Midnight waiting for our bus, we were a little tired and cranky and this cute little couple from Canada came over to visit with us. I asked how they met and they began to tell us all the details of meeting a huge party weekend. He said she had another boyfriend that she had been with for 5 years and that had just gone sour. Her heart was broken. There was anther man standing a little ways away and he walked over sat with us all on the bench and said "I know how she feels". It was crazy. Ed started to talk to him and I kept talking to the young couple. They were not married and they were just traveling around the states in an RV. I told them how Ed and I had met at a high shcool party and they wanted to know all the details. I began to share with them how that we didn't have sex until we were married and now we have been married 31 years and are more in love with each other than ever before, we have 3 kids and will soon have 3 grandkids. Their faces softened and their response was "that is so sweet"! Ed went right into telling his testimony of how he got saved right after we started dating and how that changed everything about the way his life was going. They all were really listening. About that time the bus pulled up. It was so neat to see God use us even when we were dead tired and on a vacation from life. The amaazing thing was how invigorated we both felt! We had another opportunity later in the week to give a teenage boy, who was sitting behind us on the bus some money. He had been on the phone telling someone how he didn't have enough money to get to his destination and he said "Jesus Christ" in the course of conversation. Ed looked at me and said "you're going to have to give him some money". He knows what a softie I am, I already had it in hand! He moved back to sit with Dustin and gave him the money and told him that we are parents and we heard his dilema and we would want someone to help our kids. Ed expressed our belief in teenagers. We love them! He then began to go on to say, I heard you say "Jesus Christ" in your frustration and I want you to know that He heard your cry and has answered and He loves you. The kid was so taken aback! Dustin's tone changed and he began to share with Ed the frustrations of his life. The bus stopped and we had to get off. What fun we had!
Now to the "I have sinned". We were in the Planet Hollywood hotel and there was a little brewery called Sin City Brewery that had t-shirts that said "I have sinned".
I really wanted to buy one but it was pretty skimpy. The thought came to me that we should all be wearing those shirts. Not because we had a beer but because hours before I had gotten mad at Ed, acted hateful and not shown him love. That's what really breaks God's heart is when we don't love, not the outward things but the inward things. I have sinned and I have repented. I am so grateful for a forgiving God and a forgiving husband! Our lives can begin again today because of that mercy and grace! I wonder how I would be looked at if I wore a I have sinned shirt every day yet it is the truth. I am not a perfect wife, mother, friend, daughter or Pastor's wife, I am just a sinner depending on God's grace. Thank you to my great church for sending me on an amazing vacation!