Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanks, Prayer Buddy

Prayer Buddy - you are amazing :-)

I dropped off the car in the pouring rain on Tuesday morning.  The dealership called me early in the afternoon with an estimate of $1,300.

What's that?  That doesn't sound like a fantastic deal to you?  Me neither.

So I called another repair shop.  They estimated about $250 at the most.

Then I called my dad.  He talked to his neighbor who is a master mechanic.  He'll fix the car this weekend for the cost of the parts...maybe $50 at the very most.

You were working overtime on Tuesday, Prayer Buddy, and I really appreciate it!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Car troubles and house buying trials

First of all, prayer buddy, if you could say a prayer that when I take my car to the dealership tomorrow, we find a minor problem (or no problem at all!!).  The check engine light has been going on and off over the last couple of months and I finally made an appointment to take it in.  Technically, the car belongs to my parents, but we have been borrowing it for several months because my dad can't drive due to seizures.  We pay for all insurance, upkeep and maintenence.  It would be really helpful to have this fix be inexpensive because...

We are FINALLY buying a house.  We tried to buy a house a few years ago when Junior was first born, but the deal didn't go through (it was a short-sale nightmare; after five months of waiting we still had no answer whatsoever and we gave up and moved back into an apartment.  With Junior approaching 3 years old soon, we really need yard space for him to run off some of his extra energy.  We had the inspection last week and found some major repairs need to be made to the home immediately.  Repairs such as a new tear off roof, a new furnace and a new water heater.  We renegotiated with the sellers for a purchase price reduction, but now we have to figure out contrators and find good prices on all these repairs.  It's difficult for me to coordinate making calls to contractors, our real estate agent and mortgage lady.  My husband would love to help more, but his job makes it very difficult for him to make calls or go to appointments during the day.  My job is about 45 mintues away from the house and is also very demanding.  We are go-go-go from 5:30am until 9pm every day.  Please pray for patience, guidance and peace as we go through this whole process.

Now on a happy note, I bought some amazing shoes the other day :-)  I walked into a store and the first pair of shoes I found were a beautiful zebra print with pink accents.  They only had one pair in stock...and they were my size.  Size 11 wide.  Who would've expected that?  Since my 1st pregnancy my feet have grown one entire size and are now wide.  Let's just say that 11W is not usually an off-the-shelf kind of purchase.  That was totally God giving me a hug. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Reveal

Like I said yesterday, I was really excited to see how my hair would turn out.  I started the rinsing process and it took about 45 minutes to get the vast majority of the grit out of my hair so I could finally use the shampoo.  I shampooed my hair four times, then conditioned it once.  After all that (including a quick wash of the bathtub - the henna stained it), I finally dried it to get a sense of the color.


OK, it did turn a shade darker (I already have dark brown hair).  The color, in my regular bathroom lights, seems richer and my natural redish highlights are long gone.  But the red I was hoping to see didn't materialize.  My sister says I have to do it several more times to really saturate my hair with the henna to achieve the color she has.

Honestly, I don't think I have the patience (or time) to repeat this process multiple times.  I think what I'll do it just go for the black cherry dye and see what happens.

When I showed it to my sister. mom and dad, they all thought the color was significantly more red than I thought it was.  Maybe being in the sunlight instead of the artifical bathroom lighting helps?

Anyhow, I'm not thrilled with the results.  Frankly, if you have a lot of time on your hands and don't mind scrubbing the bathtub frequently, then I'd recommend trying henna...otherwise, I'd skip it.  It's a more natural product than hair dye, but the process is too time consuming and messy for me.

As a side note though, I don't want to sound disrespectful to Almighty God, but I did want to give Him a shout out for His help on my shopping trip today.  I'm not a shopper (I have frequently used a personal shopper in the past to avoid being in the store longer than absolutely necessary).  Shopping during the Christmas season scares me more than anything.  It's a combination of the crowds, the hot mall, the screaming 2 year-old I inevitably drag along, the heavy bags, the stroller that doesn't fit through the narrowed aisles and my general dislike of shopping.  I had to buy an outfit for mass tomorrow because I have to go up in front of the church withe the RCIA group for the Rite of Welcoming.  We literally walked into the ladies section and there was a manaquin wearing a cute plaid skirt and a black sweater.  I bought the outfit immediately.  For shoes, I can't usually buy shoes in the stores because I need an 11 wide (ugh, pregnancy foot spread).  I called my sister and asked her to hook me up with some of her shoes and she just walked in the door with choices galore :-)

God is so good!  He saved me from hyperventilating in the mall today!  Thanks be to God :-)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Henna Hair

My dear sister came home for Thanksgiving.  My sister lives in Atlanta and comes home only a couples times a year for a few days or so.  I went to see her at my mom and dad's house and she's been working really hard to lose weight and she's been wildly successful.  She looks amazing!  Like she did back in high school.

And her hair is gorgeous.  It's black, but with a lot of red undertones.  It reminds me of Bella's hair in Twilight.  When she's in the sunlight it positvely shimmers this fantastic black cherry color.  Of course, I had to know what color she had dyed it (she's always dyeing her hair different colors).  She said she was using henna to color her hair.

I have to say, I was intrigued.  She mixes black henna and brown henna together and it turns into this really thick, pasty mud.  She applies it to her hair, wraps it in plastic wrap and leaves it in for four hours or overnight.  Rinses it out and POOF! this spectacular black cherry color is left behind.

Today, we went up to one of the many local Indian grocery stores and bought a bunch of henna hair dye.  We prepared the henna and let it soak for about six hours.  Then after Thanksgiving Day Dinner #2, she set up the "salon" in my parents' kitchen and we got to dyeing my hair.  It is a cakey, muddy mess right now, but I'm really excited to rinse it out and see how it turned out.  Around 11pm tonight I will start the rinsing (mostly because I don't think I could sleep with my hair all wrapped in plastic wrap and the mud drying and flaking all over the place.  Plus it is really stinky.

I'll update you all on the results tomorrow.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Oh October...

You won't be missed.

Autumn is my favorite season and October is my favorite month.  Favorite because, here in Michigan, the scenery is spectacular.  The beautiful reds, oranges, yellows, browns and deep, deep greens as the trees shed their leaves really contrast against the cold, grey sky.  Around here, we head to the cider mill on a cool dry day to pick apples and indulge in some fresh donuts and cold apple cider.  It's sweatshirt, jeans and rainboot weather.

Well, I did say October won't be missed.  That's because October is also my least favorite month.  Since I've been an adult, October has typically been a rough month for me.  It's when I get in car accidents.  It's when my pets die.  It's when I encounter travel difficulties.  It's when I have a health crisis or two. 

October 2011 was no exception; in fact, October came early this year.  The last weekend in September, I was in a car accident.  Not a bad one, no one was injured...but my car was in the shop for two weeks getting fixed.  Our son had an ear infection and a nasty cough that he just couldn't shake.  On October 5th, found out that our  baby had passed about 2 weeks earlier and I was scheduled for a D&C on Friday, October 7.    As this was our third loss in less than a year, I decided to take an entire week off work to recover...more mentally and emotionally than physically.  During that week off, I developed ear and sinus infections.  Then Mr. Amen was sick with a terrible sinus infection and cough.  Next, on the Thursday of my impromptu "vacation", our son had a severe allergic reaction to a cashew and was rushed from one hospital to another by ambulance (lights & sirens) and spent the night in the pediatric intensive care unit.  Once we got him stabilized and finally back home, we had a quiet week and though we were through with this October's trials.  But then my dad had some grand mal seizures one night and was rushed to the hospital by ambulance.  My brother and I stayed up all night with my mom at the hospital.  Finally, October ended.

Good riddance.

We were involved in preapring for a NFP conference and the coordinator from the Archdiocese said we should be prepared to be attacked by the devil leading up to the conference.  Boy, she wasn't kidding.  We were prayed up and ready to handle it all.  It was certainly exhausing and really tried our patience and faith.  But we made it through better than ever.