Saturday, December 31, 2011

Misery or Joy?

I've read a number of blogs and had countless conversations with people of all ages and stations and I've come to the conclusion that some people live out of joy and some people are defined by their misery. (Yes, that's blunt.  But in case you didn't not realize that about me, I'm blunt. I don't sugar coat and I am fully aware that I'm not sweet.) 

Maybe I'm trivializing the this or that somewhat, but over the years, I truly think that most people can be listed in either the joy camp or the misery camp.  I don't know about you, but I want to be in the joy camp.

I'm not trying to push away pain. I'm not trying to devalue trials and tears.  I'm just asking you and myself, do you define yourself by the pain you have felt or the joy you have experienced?

At this point some of you might think that I must not have any experience with the misery of life.  Well, I've had more than some and far less than others.  I'm not naive, I've seen some really yucky things, and I've experienced heartbreak. But more than that, I place my hope in things greater than me and know that because of some of my life experiences, I can find common ground with most people.

This year, as we embrace 2012, I am going to be cognizant of living from JOY. When I get downtrodden, overworked, overtired and beat up, I'm going to remind myself that in this life, some things are crappy, but in the end, if we let it, we learn and grow and can experience JOY.

And if you see me around town and catch me living on the misery side, stop me and remind to live joyously.

Here are a few of things you can remind me of:

1. I have three beautiful daughters who are the delight of my life.
2. I have a handsome husband who was not afraid to take control of our future and start his own business.
3. I have a large extended family that supports me.
4. I have a good job that challenges me every single day.
5. I have friends that I can count on and laugh with.

Really, when put it this way, what would I have to be miserable about anyway?

If you have the time, inclination or desire, check out A Place Called Simplicity this writer takes this concept to a whole new level.

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Joy Of A Texas Winter

There is something wonderful about 70 degree days the week between Christmas and New Years. In Texas, sometimes you get these incredible days and sometimes you get rain.  Rarely do we get snow.  I have to say, I LOVE this weather!

While I was cleaning out the garage and doing the Christmas takedown, my girls had a chance to play outside.  Lexi got a new scooter. Obviously.

So for all of you out there that are in the midst of winter and snow, here is a burst of sunshine for you!  Doesn't she just make your heart melt!  (And don't you just love my new camera!!)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Walmart... Really? No return, not even with a reciept???

Maybe I've been living in a bubble and am the ONLY person to not know it... but did you know that Walmart does not allow holiday items to be returned after said holiday even if you have a receipt??

Well, I didn't! And it's not written in their store policy, it's not posted anywhere in the store and it isn't on my receipt! So, how was I supposed to know?  You don't! And I call FOUL! and UNFAIR!!

You see, this all started out so simple, I purchase new pajamas for the girls every year to open Christmas Eve.  Maddie as a tween isn't really an adult small, nor is she a kid size either.  However, in my quest for jammies, I settled on an adult small purchased from Walmart knowing that if I found something more her size elsewhere I could always return it.

Happily, I found a tween size that were cute at another store and all was well.  I had my bag of things to return to Walmart and almost did so on Christmas Eve, but with the store overflowing with people, decided that since there was no rush, to just wait a take everything back a couple of days after Christmas.

Well, today, 12/29 was that day!
I got my items marked, waited my turn at customer service and had a very nice and friendly worker explain to me that she could not take the pajamas back.  That it was STORE POLICY to not take anything back after the holiday.  I was shocked!  I asked where this policy was posted.  She confirmed that it wasn't.  I asked why it wasn't on the receipt.  She said that was a good idea, that I should let corporate know that they should do that before next Christmas.  You see, it would make her life much easier she said.  

To be honest, I really wanted to throw a good fit.  Thankfully I didn't.  And thankfully $17.97 isn't the end of the world.  But it's the principle!  I understand not wanting to take holiday items back after the holiday, but at least be HONEST about it.  Make a sign and put it on your receipts... like the honest store owners do.

So here is what I have decided to do, (and I realize that the monstrosity called the Walmart Corporation doesn't care) but I'm not going to buy anything from Walmart that I don't have to.  Boycotting Walmart doesn't work.  Not in a small community like ours where it feels like our dollars are held hostage!  But for me, I am going to do my best to plan a little better, buy a little earlier and purchase from retailers that care about their customers. 

What about you out there?  Did you know about this policy?  And if so, how did you find out?

Monday, December 19, 2011

An Angel, A Narrator, a Toddler and an attempt at a Family Picture!

We are so blessed at our church to have fabulous music.  The children's programs are outstanding and the kids are learning so much about their faith and music as well!

Yesterday was the Christmas Cantata.  Maddie was a narrator and Lexi was an angel.  Kylie just looked cute.

Here Lexi is pictured with Pastor Howard.

And finally, an attempt at a family picture....ugh. What's bad is that one of my students who takes awesome pictures took these.  Oh well. I was hoping for some magic, like maybe losing 20 pounds in the picture too...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Stop the Press!

Stop the Presses! 

I made it to TWO events at Lexi's school in ONE day!

As a working mom, I NEVER get to go to anything at my children's school.  Sad really given that I'm a teacher, but I'm one of those parents that the teacher never sees.  My girls are so good about it, but they do notice that I'm not there.  Lexi goes through spurts of asking me to come for lunch or to pick her up, but most of the time I think we are all just pretty resigned to the fact that while I get holidays off to spend with my kids, I won't ever get to see them in things at school.  Well, I guess until they get to high school and are at my school.  And then they will be too old for class Christmas parties!

Okay, enough of the whine and back to the fun.

Today Lexi had a T.O.T.S. performance in gym class. I can't remember what it stands for.  Basically, it's ball handling skills.  She did great.  After the performance, they had parents come out and the kids taught the parents. Good for Doug!! I was happy to be the photographer :)
Then came the class Christmas party! I must say, I so enjoy a well organized classroom and party!  The kids rotated from the letter to Santa station, to the gingerbread house station, to the ornament station, to the snack station and finally to the Christmas tree decorating station.  I know that some classrooms function in chaos, but I just love organized teachers!! Yay Mrs. Priddy!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

A little wire, some beads and wah lah... Friend Gifts!

It wasn't that long ago that when Maddie, aged 11 asked to make gifts for her friends for Christmas that I cringed and said "Sure" in that sing-song voice that says "I may be saying yes now, but we are going to chat about that later and come up with a different plan..."

However, it is with great pride, that I can say that Maddie is now not only an official crafter, but she is getting good at it too!!  Last year she made baked goods that were delicious for friend and teacher gifts.  This year, she decided to make necklaces.

Below are a couple of her creations!

And here is a close up.  Can you see that one string is gold and one is silver? 
It looks really good in person!

Now granted, I would have never chosen the color scheme, but the necklaces aren't for me.

I think her friends are going to be super excited!