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Crazy Update

I realize I've been gone for a while.  So long that I actually forgot my password and user name to log into the 'ol blog.   LOL  That's pretty bad.   I'll try to do a brief update.... I discovered that I never finished a post about Nick joining the military.  So, I made it public and will add more here.    Nick decided about a month after joining the Army that he wanted to leave ASAP.   So he talked to all of his instructors and his guidance counselor and the recruiter to get out of school early.   He'll have all his credits and required courses at the end of this triad - but he just had to pass everything.     He has 2 finals to take and he'll be done.  I can't believe its to this point.    Today is Nick's last day of high school.    I'm so sad.  I'm proud, really I am, but I'm sad too.  Things are changing so fast where he is concerned.    He may not get to leave right away though.  It depends if the school can provide the paperwork required by the Army in time.   Technically he's not scheduled to leave until June 2, but that may be moved up to sometime late January/early February.   We'll see.    So to recap....Today is Nick's last day of high school.   *sniff*   Update:  Nick just texted me from school (shhhh don't tell on him) he passed and is done.  I'm not even 40 and I have a high school graduate....now I'm really gonna cry.   A couple weeks ago I played again in church.  This time is was for a duet for Mike and I.  Yea!!!!  I don't think I did too bad.   We sang an older song from Hillsong/Planetshakers, I think, called "Healer."    Of course, Mike wanted to sing the song again as a worship chorus and I told him Andrea would have to jack it up and give it funky music if he did.   Let me just say I was right about that.  It wasn't about the words when she got through with it; it was all about the music (and it didn't sound like she had practiced before church either).  So to recap.....I was right (it doesn't matter about what, just that I'm right).    ;)  I think our truck is about to break down.   Teenage drivers are really hard on a vehicle.  Nick named the poor thing Cheryl and Mike is convinced that the truck doesn't like the name and is showing it's displeasure by breaking down.   LOL  They are both dorks!!!   Nick was at his friend's house and told him about naming Cheryl.  His friend couldn't come up with a name for his truck and Nick told him he just needed to keep calling it names until one felt right.  So Brandon said he would be right back.  When he came back, Nick asked him where he had gone.   Brandon said he went outside and called his truck a bunch of names and finally came up with Sheila.  Boys and their trucks... *eyeroll*   And another recap....They are (both) dorks!!!   Boys are, that is.   I got busy at work during this post and have no idea what else I was going to blog about, so I'll finish with scrappy stuff.   Seems like the industry is suffering.   It doesn't surprise me though.  People are making less money yet the cost of just maintains its upward climb.  So the necessities aren't including hobbies.   I think I am one of those people.   While I still have a TON of scrappy supplies, I just haven't had the inspiration to scrap.  I guess my subconscious wants to hang on to my stuff just in case I don't get to buy any more for a while.  I dunno.  Anyway, I finally got some inspiration from this blog, God Bless her!!!  So the Mojo seems I'm back up and running.  For Thanksgiving I pretty much copied her banner with things I could find at home.   I haven't been able to get a decent picture of it though, so I don't have one to post yet.   After that, I decided to make a Christmas one.   And that made a turn after I folded all them crazy little accordion flowers - 14 to be exact.   It changed into something I could put on my desk at work.   I punched all the letters out of some Basic Grey chipboard package I got at Big Lots a while back and covered it with leftover BG papers I had hidden in my stash.  Then I dug out some other BG chipboard letters and covered them.  Added some microbeads to one of the "flowers" and stuck it all down.  And now it's sitting all pretty on my desk.   One of the bosses, John, even commented on it.   He laid it down and got up close and personal-like with it to check it out, but he said it was very pretty and seemed impressed that I could make it.  LOL   The only thing new I got to make this was the vintage pictures, and I printed them off the internet at work, so technically they didn't cost me anything either.    So here it is.... (Approx. dim: 8-3/4 X 5-1/2) And my final recap....the Mojo seems I'm back up and running.  Woo Hoo!!!!!   Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas (just in case I don't get back here before then-lol).   Blessings!!!

Follow-Up ...

...to my last post.

The day I originally put that post in my blog was after I had a weekend to get used to the idea.   I did plan to add to it, but I could never bring myself to go back to it.   
Aren't you glad I waited till I adjusted to make it public?  LOL   It's been a really rough.  I've been living in a different state of mind.  I've tried to completely ignore it all: the fact that after he graduates in May, he'll be leaving me.  I can't bring myself to think about where he could be going, what he'll learn, what he'll have to do to save his life or even someone else's.    He tried to give me a pep talk about how great it'll be for him to have income, and education, and there's a decent death benefit.....Death Benefit....DEATH BENEFIT???????????????????????   I left the room at that point crying.  Mike had to explain it to the poor kid that "death benefits" are NOT a good selling point to me.  

I'm still not happy about the idea.  Not because I'm not appreciative of the men and women who sacrifice for me.  It's not because I'm not patriotic or unAmerican.  I love this country and what it stands for and that we have always been blessed by God.

It IS because that's MY baby.   It is because he's made this decision on his own, without prayerful guidance.  It is because he don't care that he's made this on his own.  It's because people in the military get killed.   It's because I don't see the point in jumping out of a perfectly capable airplane.  It is because of his boss...our Commander In Chief...is someone I don't think we can trust.  

He gave me a bumper sticker for my van.  It read "Proud Parent of an Army Soldier," or something close to that.  I asked Mike if it would be wrong for me to get a magic marker and black out the "proud" and just leave it "Parent of...."  Instead I waited till I cooled off a bit and finally put it on the van. 


***this post was written back in September.  I just decided to let it go "live" without finishing it.  LOL  Sorry.

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Brief Update

Last time I posted in my list I indicated that I was gonna quit running and say "Yes" to what God was asking me to do.    Well, I'm happy to report that I did it. 

I've been a closet piano player.  For a long time there were very few people that knew I could play.  
The past few months its seemed like I had a crave to play.  It sounds  strange, but every time I get near a piano or keyboard, I just wanna play it, no make that I NEED to play. Lately I've branched out a little and have been playing for fun in front of a few people here and there...like after church when there are just 5 or 6 people left.  

Sonya usually plays when Andrea is out of town but this week both of them were gone at the same time.    I was asked if I would play.  I wasn't sure I was ready to commit to playing for a service.  I've played for kids church, but those are kids and they are very forgiving.  LOL     Anyway, I tossed the idea around for a while.  Said "no" for a while.  Prayed about it.    It seemed like message after message was directed at me - about saying Yes to God's will for your life, and taking ownership of your ministry.  I've even had the little voice in my  head tell me to listen to what I was saying when I would talk to Nick about doing God's will.  

So I finally told God I would do what He wanted.   The thing is, I've always known my ministry is in music and I've always just figured it was singing and leading people to worship through my voice.  Talk about limiting God.   Little did I know God had additional things in mind for me.  I've felt like He's been tuning my piano skills for the next steps.  I've been very afraid to confess this to anyone.  It's been my experience that once I say something out loud about doing what God's asked of me, that's when opposition (aka - the devil) kicks it in high gear to ride my tail.  

Like clockwork, once I said that I would play, I started having problems.  I've been tormented with pain, thoughts of inadequacy, sleeplessness, etc.    However, in the middle of all that, I never said it outloud (actually I would say the opposite out of fear), but I felt a confidence about playing.  I knew I was doing what I was supposed to - that I was in the will of God.   

I was a little scared (who wouldn't be...lol) about having zero control.  If I hit a wrong note while singing, I can just make a vocal trick out of it and correct it.  If I say something that's dumb, I can stop talking, take a deep breath and fix it.  But a keyboard....if  I hit a wrong note, there's no taking it back easy.  

But the bottom line is.....I played the keyboard for church Wednesday!!!!!!!  And it just felt "right!!"

Once I got behind the keyboard and service started, it just seemed to flow for me.  I didn't feel nervous, my hands didn't shake (and that's amazing cause they shake every time I grab a mic to sing).  Yeah, I made some mistakes and hit some sour notes, but all in all, I don't think it was terrible.  I also didn't feel the self-condemnation about messing up (which I think is a first for me - lol).    Some people didn't even realize it wasn't Andrea at first.  So that should count for something.     It's hard to explain the rush I got out of it.  I could hardly go to sleep that night I had so much adrenaline
(I guess) pumping through my veins.  LOL 

Thank God Theresa agreed to lead songs...she helped me by just being there.  She most likely has no idea about that, and I should probably tell her sometime.   

I've agreed to play again once in a while for kids church this semester, actually I play on Sunday, so that will give me more experience. 
   

I just wanna say that I'm excited to see what God has for me in this area.

The GOOD Stuff

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I like this song by Kenny Chesney and I think he has a good point.    With so much negative stuff going on in the world today I figured I would take today and post some of my good stuff.

My Good Stuff: 

1.    The guy yesterday who literally threw himself down on the sidewalk in front of me because he "fell in love."  I stepped around him and he was upset cause I wasn't going to "rescue" him.   Good for the ego.  LOL 
2
.    Even though I have more bills needing to be paid, I have the money to pay the bills that are pressing.  (So that's not totally "good" but I am thankful for what I do have.) 
3.    I finally decided to quit running from what God wanted me to do....I told Pastor "yes, I will do it." 
4
.    The fun books I'm reading right now ~ The Heirs of Montana series from Tracie Peterson.
5
.    I found the most amazing library downtown recently.  I'm totally loving it's architecture.
6
.    Flip-flop tan lines
7
.    Cool Sunglasses
8.    Tall icy glasses of Diet Coke
9.    Scrapbooking!!!!  I finally got to play some last night and it felt GOOD!!!
10.  
Nick seems to be finding his way a little better.  THANK THE GOOD LORD!!!

There's a few for today.  Maybe I'll do this more often.  Should be a good pick-me-up when I'm feeling down.  Have a great day!!!!

Maya Road Warehouse Sale

Maya Road is having a Warehouse Sale to get rid of old stock and make room for the new releases.  They are selling $125.00 of stuff for $50.00!   It's random what comes in the box, so not everything could be things you would buy if you were going to fill the box yourself.      Anyway, thought I would share what I got in my box.  


Felt, Ribbon, Velvet, Rub-Ons, Chipboard & Sheers
OH MY!!!!!

Maya Road Warehouse Sale - 1
Maya Road Warehouse Sale - 2
Maya Road Warehouse Sale - 3


There ya have it.  You should hurry and get yours before they run out.

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I am Truly Scared for our country!!

And it came to pass in the Age of Insanity that the people of  the land called America, having lost their morals, their initiative, and their will to defend their liberties, chose as their  Supreme Leader that person known as "The One".
 
He emerged from the vapors with a message that had no meaning; but  He hypnotized the people telling them, "I am sent to save you.  My lack of experience, my questionable ethics, my monstrous ego,  and my association with evil doers are of no consequence. For I  shall save you with Hope  and Change. 
 
Go, therefore, and proclaim throughout  the land that he who preceded me is evil, that he has defiled the nation, and that all he  has built must be destroyed."  And the people rejoiced, for even  though they knew not what "The One" would do, he had promised  that it was good; and they believed.

And "The One" said "We live in  the greatest country in the world. Help me change everything about it!"  And the people said, "Hallelujah!  Change is good!"
 
Then He said, "We are going to tax the rich  fat-cats." And the people said "Sock it to them!" 
"And redistribute their  wealth."    And the people said, "Show us the money!"
And then He said, "Redistribution of wealth is good for everybody"  

And Joe the plumber asked, "Are you kidding me?  You're going to steal my money and give it to the deadbeats??" And "The One" ridiculed and taunted him, and Joe's personal records were hacked and publicized.
 
One lone reporter asked, "Isn't that  Marxist policy?"  
And she was banished from the kingdom!
 
Then a citizen asked, "With no foreign relations  experience and having zero military experience or knowledge, how will you deal with radical terrorists?" And "The  One" said, "Simple. I shall sit with them and talk with them and show them how nice we really are; and they will forget that they ever wanted to kill us all!"  
And the  people said, "Hallelujah!! We are safe at last, and we can beat our  weapons into free cars for  the people!"

Then "The One" said, "I shall give 95%  of you lower taxes." And one, lone voice said, "But 40% of us don't  pay ANY taxes."  So "The One" said, "Then I shall give you some of  the taxes the fat-cats  pay!" 
And the people  said, "Hallelujah!! Show us the money!"
 
Then "The One" said, "I shall tax your  Capital Gains when you sell your homes!"    And the people  yawned and the slumping housing market collapsed. And He said, "I shall mandate employer- funded health care for EVERY worker and raise the minimum wage. And I shall  give every person unlimited healthcare and medicine and  transportation to the clinics."
  And the people said, "Give  me some of that!"

Then he said, "I shall penalize employers who ship  jobs overseas."
And the people  said, "Where's my rebate check?"
 
Then "The One" said, "I shall bankrupt the coal industry and electricity rates will skyrocket!" 
And the  people said, "Coal is  dirty, coal is evil, no more coal! But we don't care for that part  about higher electric rates." So "The One" said, "Not to worry. If your rebate isn't enough to cover your expenses,  we shall bail you out. Just sign up with ACORN and your troubles are over!"
 
Then He said, "Illegal immigrants feel scorned and slighted. Let's grant them amnesty, Social Security, free  education, free lunches, free medical care, bi-lingual signs and  guaranteed  housing..."   
And the people  said, "Hallelujah!!" And they  made him King!
 
And so it came to pass that employers, facing spiraling costs and ever-higher taxes, raised their prices and laid off workers.  Others simply gave up and went out of business and the  economy sank like unto a rock dropped from a cliff.   The banking industry was destroyed. Manufacturing  slowed to a crawl. And more of the people were without a means of  support.
 
Then "The One" said, "I am the  "The One" - The Messiah - and I'm here to save you! We shall just print more money so  everyone will  have enough!" 
But our foreign trading  partners said unto Him, "Wait a minute. Your dollar is not worth a pile of camel dung! You will  have to pay more..."   And the people said,  "Wait a minute. That is  unfair!!"   And the world said, "Neither  are these other idiotic  programs you have embraced.  Lo, you have become a  Socialist state and a second-rate power.  Now you shall play by our rules!"
   
And the people cried out, "Alas, alas!! What have we done?"  But  yea verily, it was too late. The people set upon "The One" and spat  upon him and stoned him, and his name was dung. And the once mighty  nation was no more; and the once proud people were without  sustenance or shelter or hope. And the Change "The  One" had given them was as like unto a poison that had destroyed  them and like a whirlwind that consumed all that they had built.  And the people beat their chests in despair and cried  out in anguish,
"Give us back our nation and our pride and  our hope!!"
   But it was  too late, and their homeland was no more.

You may think this is a fairy tale, but it's not.
It's happening RIGHT NOW!!!

**EDIT:  I did not write this....I got it in an email and wanted to share.**

Beautify Downtown St. Louis

The City, and the powers that be, implemented the all new Citygarden.  Opened just in time for the All Star Game.   It takes up 2 blocks and covers about 3 acres.   The gardens features trees and plants that are native to Missouri.   It's a neat place to spend the lunch hour.   Families come and bring a blanket and have a picnic lunch and the kids play in the water areas.  

I have a ton of pictures I took of the garden, check them out in
My Gallery.   But here's a couple to entice you. 




FUN FACTS:  
238 trees, 20 different species.
89 other species include:
1,170 shrubs
4,194 perennials, native grasses and wildflowers
8,000 bulbs
12,726 groundcovers
32,000 square feet of lawn
1,200 blocks of Missouri quarried limestone make the 550 foot arcing wall. 

I missed some of the statues - I have to go back and get one called Kindly Geppetto, since I got one of Pinocchio.  My camera battery was flashing red at me, the clouds were coming in for rain and my lunch hour was almost over.

Hope you have a great week!  

A Few Pix From Florida

I know I've been MIA for quite some time.  It's that time again where I don't feel like blogging.  Actually, I feel like blogging, I just don't wanna do it.   Ok, that makes no sense at all.    So I think I'll just share a few pictures from our recent trip to Florida.   Maybe that will get me in the mood again. 



We had a great time driving around in this sweet ride.  Everyone wondered about gas mileage....we drove it all week, from Orlando, around Cocoa and across the state to St. Petersburg.  We paid $55.00 in gas for the week.  That's it!   Not too bad if you ask me.  Which you didn't, but still......

Continuing on ~

Cocoa Beach:
      


          

We spent 2 hours on the beach one evening waiting for NASA to send a rocket up.  We were in the middle of a storm though and they had to postpone it.   We didn't know it, but it was rescheduled for Friday evening.  So we missed seeing it from the beach.  We saw it once it topped over our resort. 

As you can tell in this picture, from the beach you can clearly see the launching pad.  It was so disappointing to miss it on Friday.


    
The military made their presence felt by circling the beaches and ships that were sailing out.  They were flying so low that I was able to capture them, with barely any zoom, waving at Nathen.  So cool.

Red Heron: 

According to the locals, this bird is a rare site.  I had the privilege of seeing 2 of them on the beach that afternoon.  I couldn't capture both in the same pic though.

Aren't these waves and the sky absolutely gorgeous?!!?



Gorgeous St. Petersburg Beach:
     
I'm ready to go back!!!!  I've decided I like the Gulf side so much better.  The water is simply gorgeous.
 
I didn't really take a lot of pictures this year.  I guess I figured how many pictures of the boys in the pool and in the ocean does one mother need!?!?    

We visited an airplane museum and saw some totally cool memorabilia from history.  Guns, Communist propaganda, Natzi signs shot off airplanes, field phones (like Radar used in MASH with the hand crank), gas masks, uniforms, tons of stuff.   I'll share some of the pics later, once I realize what I have.  Austen took a ton of them and some of them I'm not quite sure what era we were looking in.  

Robert, Wendy, Rachel & Hannah drove down to Cocoa to spend Saturday afternoon and evening with us.  We hung out in the pool until it rained us out and then had dinner at Grills on the Marina.   Fun!   My pictures didn't turn out with any of the Reische's.... :( Maybe Wendy's are better - I need to remind her to email me those. 

During the course of this vacation I decided that I was ready to go to a new location.  Nathen agreed and chose to go to Montana.   He wants to go horseback riding and do some hiking.   

A couple years ago we were going to to go Montana and stay with some people Mike knows.  If you know me, you'll know this is NOT my idea of a vacation, nor is it my idea of a good time.   UGH!!!   I finally caved though and said ok.  For some reason the plans didn't go through (woo hoo for me)and we've never talked about going again.   During that time, we tried really hard to talk the boys into being excited about going - but they wanted NO part of it.  They wanted to stay at home or go to Florida.  I was happy to hear we have at least one son on board.  Nick will be happy too, if he gets to go.  He expressed interest in going.    Just depends on his job.   I think it would be fun to work on a Dude Ranch....tiring, but fun and an amazing learning experience.  Shoot, I can't even drive a horse, how would I make it on a ranch?!?!  LOL  Guess that leaves me doin' the dishes.  

I'll leave ya to it for the rest of the day ~ have a great one.

Florida

Having a wonderful time. I can't believe it's nearly over. So many more days I want to spend on the beach and in the pool, but there's only 2 days left.  I haven't taken many pictures this time around either.    Just sitting back and enjoying the week.  I'll leave you with this one.  I gotta get ready to head out...we're going out for brunch. 


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