Dude! I Won Something!

I can not tell you how many contests I have entered on blogs to try to win an awesome prize. Bloggy Giveaways and Pioneer Woman and Rocks in My Dryer are just a few places I have entered. And I have never won. Until now!

Sarah over at Shortstop had a contest for a Blurb photo book. I started reading her blog when she had the 12 days of cookies at Christmas. I made several of the recipes and they all turned out great.

She had made a cookbook at Blurb for her sister-in-law for Christmas and it looked awesome. So I entered and I won a photobook! And like a dummy I forgot to go back and check until today. Yeah! 

I am a winner. Thanks Blurb and Sarah!

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Live Blogging on What Should Be A Snow Day For Everyone

5:30 a.m. Looked out the window, snow just starting to come down. Go back to bed.

6:30 a.m. Wake up again. Check to see if it as a snow day for the kids. Yes. Wake up Larry and tell him. Get dressed for work.

7:07 a.m. Leave for work. Roads are snowy which is better than icy.
7:50 a.m. Arrive at work. Only took me 10 extra minutes. Went about 25-30 MPH most of the way.

7:52a.m. Run into the office.

8:00 a.m. Arrive in building huffing and puffing because I have not ran in years. Shake 6 pounds of snow off. Wonder why I bothered to brush my hair.

8:15 a.m. Make coffee and relax. Answer the phone 4 times. 4 employees tell me they are working from home today. Wish I could get my calls transfered.

8:55 a.m. Take head count of number of employees at work so far. 3.

9:07 a.m. 2 more employees arrive. One of them looking like she just came through a blizzard. Time to get my second cup of coffee.

9:18 a.m. An employee that live about 3 miles away just called in. He said the plows had not come there yet. Yeah, they weren’t in my town either and I live 12 miles away.

9:45 a.m. Call Larry to see if the girls are awake. They were up by 7:15. No coaxing them out of bed this morning. They were begging to go outside by 8:00.

11:00 a.m. Just got my third cup of coffee. I usually only drink two, but since today is a snow day I’ll make an exception. There is still fudge is the kitchen from yesterday’s party. That should make a good lunch. There are now about 11 employees here. The sky is white out my window.

12:15 p.m. There are 18 employees here now, but who’s counting. I am having fun shopping online and reading blogs. Too bad they blocked us out of facebook.

12:55 Just ordered lunch from Jimmy John’s. A Snow Day bonus.

2:20 Packing it in for the day. Most employees have left except for the hourly peeps. Now for the drive home!

The Costumes

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Voting Day

Today is the day we as Americans get to cast our vote for who we think would be best to lead our country. Today, history will be made either way. 

Every morning when I get to work I deliver the Wall Street Journal to a co-worker. This morning the Headline was something like ” New challenges for the new President.” They were already setting the scene for failure. And my first thought was “What kind of crazy person wants to be President?” 

Seriously. It has to take a special person to believe they can lead the entire country. I respect both of the candidates and their families for the sacrifices they are making for our country. They spend very little time with their spouses. They are attacked by the media. Some are attacked by their own party. How exhausting it must be to be on the road for months shaking all those hands and kissing all those babies. 

And yet we complain because we are tired of the ads and the calls and the signs. 

So today, I will be part of history and cast my vote. And either way there will be change.

Thankful

1. Beautiful Fall colors

2. That the tree in my front yard turns bright red

3. Coffee

4. Sunrises

5. Co-workers that make me laugh every day

6. Pot-Belly’s chicken salad salad

7. Friends that care

8. Kids that are silly

9. A Husband that loves me for me

10. Parents

Lessons

Pastor quoted me in his sermon last Sunday. It’s always nice to be able to add to the sermon. It’s not nice when you’re sitting in the front row and he says the exact same thing you were crying to your husband about that week. Nothing like wanting to crawl up in a ball under your chair and start bawling. 

Larry and I purchased a franchise about 3 years ago. We felt that the Lord was leading us to start a Coffee News franchise for several reasons. The main one being it would give us more time for ministry.

We jumped in with both feet and fell flat on our faces. Right after we started the Coffee News business the economy took a turn for the worse. People were not taking ads in the paper because they were afraid. Gas prices soared and driving around town was a big part of the business. 

We began living on credit. Lots of credit. After awhile I did not even think about slapping down the plastic to pay for something. We needed stuff so I just charged it. After 4 months of living on credit we were in trouble. 

We had some ads sold and we were both working hard to make the business work. But we were up to our eyeball in debt. Finally we got some loans and were able to make a dent. My parents helped us out a lot when they moved back from Florida.

This was a very difficult time for us and I am not very good at sharing with others how very hard it was. Call it what it was: Pride. I did not want not fail. After a long summer of me kicking against God for “doing” this to us I gave it over to Him and started learning what it meant to depend on God. I am still working on that lesson.

People were buying ads and it seemed like we were going to make it. We put the girls in school. I got a job, started couponing and finally we could cover all our bills. It was still hard, but after a couple of years of hard work things were going well. 

So this past Labor Day when Larry asked me what I thought about procuring all of Coffee News Downriver I immediately said NO. All I could think of was all the pain it had been to get the Dearborn one up and running. Ugh! was all I could think. I did not want to go through all that again. 

And yet here we are. We did decide to go ahead with the Downriver franchises. We are now the owners of 7 Franchises. Larry likes to say he is a Coffee News mogul.  

The week after we made the trade to get the franchises the stock market crashed. We have not sold an ad for 3 weeks. We figured we needed to sell about 25 ads to have things running smoothly. Larry has worked non-stop every day and he sold 9. 

Last week the stress came to a head when we figured how short we would be for the month. We had prayed about this. We had sought counsel. It seemed like it was the right thing to do. Why was God allowing this to happen again? 

And this is where the sermon from last Sunday comes in. I think I said something like, “We are doing all this for God. Why is He allowing us to suffer?” to Larry just two days before the sermon. And my husband gently corrected me that day. But I guess I needed reinforcement. How wrong I was to think that way! Who am I to think that I am in control? It has taken all week for me to come to terms with this pride and sin of mine. God can do what He pleases and He will take of me. It may not be in the way I would choose, but He is always good. 

Yesterday Larry sold an ad.  And he has another one lined up for today. 

God is good all the time.

The Birthday Cake