Friday, June 11, 2010

Ashley's Magazine Article

Starting at this post, going back in time, these are entries that were on my old blog that I am copying over to this one.......
This is the first time I've been on since the changes, so I still have to sit and figure all of this out. I just wanted to mention and see if any of you had seen my daughter, Ashley's, article in the spring issue of The Old Schoolhouse. It is about being a camp counselor.
Ashley is deep into camp as we "speak". She has been there 3 weeks now, 9 to go. She gets to come home on the weekends (YAY!!), but we were out of town last weekend. I'm really ready to see her this afternoon!!
Her role at camp has changed DRAMATICALLY this year. In the past, she has been a counselor for a week. This year she is assistant program director on staff for 12 weeks! Those kids have long, long days. It has been great for her so far, and boy, is it stretching her out of her comfort zone in great ways. Ashley has always been quiet, reserved, not a leader, not a group person, and definitely not a public speaker. If she isn't cured of that by August, I don't know what will do it. haha. She was plunged to the front lines the very first week! Teaching seminars to the boys' counselors, who are teen guys, getting up on stage to announce the dramas and other announcements, as well as being in the drama.....the list just goes on. It hasn't been easy for her, but she knows it's all good! And, she's gradually getting more comfortable with it all, last I heard.
She doesn't get cell service out there, but at least she can get on facebook to send me message most nights. I know it's definitely time for her, but I still miss her. At least it hasn't been such a dramatic parting like Briana's was! : ) She's easing me into it! That's good for this mom!!
Find your spring TOS and check out her first published article!

Friday, May 7, 2010

On The Road to Mississippi

Well, shortly we will be anyway. Last night we came over to Briana’s and spent the night in order to pick her up. She’ll get to go with us to MS, where we will be visiting James’ mom and my granny, who is in a nursing home. It’s about a 6 1/2 hour drive from here. The interesting part is that we didn’t have anyone to keep any of the dogs this time, so they are ALL going with us, even Briana’s. Briana’s and Ashley’s dogs are pretty big. That’s 6 people, 2 big dogs, 2 little dogs, and luggage in a Suburban. AACCKK!
It has been a super busy April. Two hikes up in the mountains, a trip or 2 over to Briana’s (without my calendar I’ve lost track!….maybe it was just one. haha), and lots of fun family time. Briana got to come home for 2 nights at Easter and 5 nights later in the month. In April we also celebrated Daniella’s 9th birthday. The day of her birthday was one of our hikes. Briana and my parents were all there for that.
The next day she had a party with 4 friends. Our outside festivities were rained out, so we had to do some last minute, quick planning. Nothing that some plain white paper on the table with crayons, nail polish, and a craft didn’t help cure. She had fun 2 days. I can’t believe she is 9. When we were just about to sing Happy Birthday, someone said, "Next year you will be a double digit." My heart went, "TEN!" I cried through the whole singing Happy Birthday.: )
I have a very hectic May coming up. This trip to MS starts it off. I would have loved to have planned it another time, but this was the only time Briana could go this year, and she didn’t get to visit them last year with us. Marissa’s birthday is 3 days after we get back, and I have a house FULL of silly girls coming for Marissa’s first ever sleepover the next night. AACCKK……again! I also have another trip back over to Briana’s, the younger girls are in a musical at church, Ashley leaves for camp, and we may go on vacation starting the last few days of the month.
Speaking of Ashley~ #1 PLEASE pray for her. She injured her shoulder last year in Kenya. It had gotten a little better, but a couple of months ago, she was playing ball with the family, and it started hurting….a lot. She’s had another steroid shot and physical therapy, but neither has helped at all. She will be having an MRI, hopefully in the next 2 weeks. We will first use that to try to pinpoint better another, perhaps stronger, steroid shot. If nothing works, we are looking at surgery. The orthopedic dr. believes she has a tear in the rotator cuff. #2 The last week of May she leaves for 11, possibly 12 weeks of summer camp, working on staff. She will be doing this with a very painful shoulder, unless we can get her a steroid shot and it works. Even without pain, this is a very exhausting, strenuous job. Please pray for her endurance, and me because I’m temporarily "losing" another child! She will get to come home most weekends. I’m off to finish getting ready for this road trip. It could be interesting!

Monday, March 22, 2010

What's Up?

Oh, all sorts of entertaining things.  : )
~Daniella's reading has improved SO much over the last 3 or so weeks.  It's not nearly so painful sounding out word after word.  She's finally recognizing words!  Now if I could JUST get her to remember the difference between d, b, and p! I'd be so happy.  That drives me nuts.  haha
~Marissa has gotten over a major hump (mental block) in math!  Yay!  We are still taking it slowly, but it's coming, and more importantly, we've had a major change of attitude.  We actually just get in there and get it done everyday, without complaining and rebelling, and usually without even being told!  Whew!
~They both LOVE me reading to them about ancient history. Go figure. 
~Ashley still loves her job out at camp training under the director.  She designed (with the help of the Olive Garden takeout menu; hahaha) a pamphlet for their Child to Camp program.  It looks awesome!  She's now working 3 days a week, plus some events, until the last week of May.  Then she will go to 24/5 (Sun night-Friday noon) through the 2nd week of Aug, 
~The only exception to the that above schedule, is that she will take off a few days in June to go to Guatemala to be maid of honor in Dulce's (Sweet Ruth) wedding.  She's going to have the most exhausting few weeks of her life May through Aug.!!
~Briana was chosen to be an understudy of one of only 2 female characters in a 9 member play.  She and the 15 year old she is understudying are the only "non professionals" in the play.  It has been a really great experience for her to be in rehearsals with the others.  Plus, Briana gets to actually do at least 6 of the shows.  This dramatically increases her speaking role.  haha.  She has a full monologue, plus other lines.  In the past, she has only had 2 or 3 lines in a show.  (Just between us! We think she would have probably been chosen to do the part, except for her height.  The part is for a teen daughter, and Briana is an inch or 2 taller than the dad!  : )  ) 
~All of us but Ashley are going over this Wed. to spend 2 nights with Briana, so that on Thurs. James and I can go see her in the play for her first time.  I'm excited!
~Ashley and I went to stay with Briana for 4 nights a couple of weeks ago.  It was super fun!  I had only seen Briana for a short time once in the previous 9 1/2 weeks.  Wow, I missed her!
~Ashley, Marissa, and Daniella are all in praise dances for our church Easter program this Sunday.  Marissa is actually going to start joining the older girls on some of their dances....the ones that aren't too hard and fast.  She doesn't have any dance training, so hopefully, she will be working her way up and getting better.  I am so surprised she likes it so much.  She just doesn't seem like a dancer to me. 
~Ashley and I are almost at the end of a Beth Moore Bible study that we've been doing together~Esther.  It has been so timely and full of things I needed to hear.  Isn't that just like God? 
~My husband is writing a book!  Can we all just say, "What?"  My husband who doesn't write and is one of the most grammatically challenged people!  : )  He heard God tell him probably a year ago to write.  He questioned it, and didn't know what it was that he was supposed to write.  So, I told him to just start writing the things God was teaching him.  (He has been in intense Bible study, sometimes now most of the day, for 2 years.)  This led to God having him write papers to present to a person he has been counseling....I am his editor (haha).  For a while now, he's had a feeling he was suppose to write a book, but had no idea what about.  The last 2 weeks it has been heavy on his mind, and he began today.  God is showing him so much!
~So much more is going on in the Spiritual realm here.  It is exciting, scary, hard, wonderful, humbling, and difficult to wait.  We are learning such a deeper, closer walk with the Lord.  God has us in place we have never been and could never have fathomed.  One day maybe I can share more. 
There's life in a nutshell.  It's overflowing with blessings, changes, challenges, and joys.  Just like yours!  Hope everyone has a blessed week!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Briana is in ANNIE, which opened on Feb. 5th.

Ms. Hannigan with the orphans

Hooverville~Briana is in the center

At Warbuck's house~Briana is just to the left of "Grace".

Briana in back being lifted high!

"The silk sheets? No, the satin sheets, I think."


NYC~ Briana is in yellow


NYC~ Briana is the one in the middle up in the air. : )

"Immediate seating. We have immediate seating."

The Bert Healy Show~ The ventriloquist is Briana's young man, Troy. He was most of the other numbers, too.

Briana delivering a telegram (to Troy). Here he is the President's aide.

"Annette" and "Cecil"

These are just a few of the over 1200 pictures James took at dress rehearsal!! : ) I've seen the show twice, and hope to go back again in about a week and a half. I'm missing that girl. Only seen her once in the last 8 weeks. Ashley and I plan to go over for 3 or 4 nights for some mother/daughter/sister time. James has actually seen her a couple of more times, so I'm ready for my turn. : )

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Family Time

An update already? Wow! We are enjoying....for the most part.....a visit to Briana's. I say most part, because the younger girls are restless and one is bored (i.e. feeling sorry for herself). Combine that with 4 adults, sometimes 5, in a small apt.and it has it's moments of "not enjoying"! : ) But, for the most part...... We got here on Wed. afternoon. James went Wed. night and a lot of the day Thurs. to take pictures of Briana's dress rehearsal. The younger girls have been able to go 3 days to visit with my parents for several hours. Friday was opening night for ANNIE. It was FABULOUS! They did such a great job. There are 2 casts of the younger kids (orphans), and Friday night's cast was so good they brought tears to my eyes in a couple of the songs! I don't even have a child in those songs! Of course, MY CHILD was fabulous, too!! Her boyfriend, Troy is also in it. I picked at him, and told him that I would watch him, too, as long as he was standing right behind Briana. haha. It's so hard to keep up and watch them both when they're on stage together. And, of course, when she's dancing, I never see the whole dance, cause I'm always just watching her. I'll try to post pictures after I get home. I went back alone to see it again on Sat. afternoon. We get 5 comp tickets per show that she is in. Even though we all went Friday night, I went ahead and paid for Marissa's and Daniella's tickets because they are much cheaper. That way I save the free ones for me to go back. : ) I like going back the very next day, because there is just no way to take it all in the first time you see a show. Even after going to see them 4 or 5 times, I see something new every time. Today they are both back at an afternoon show, and the rest of us are just hanging out at her apt. There's not much for them to do here, hence the boredom. We'll be heading home tomorrow.

James and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary later this year, and we are trying to decide somewhere to go together. I suggested the Bahamas! haha. Just a little unrealistic.

We are also trying to plan a trip to see James' mom and my granny in Mississippi. We were supposed to go in March, but not sure if that's going to work out just yet. We had hoped Ashley and Briana could go with us, especially since Briana didn't get to go last year. But, it ends up Ashley won't be able to take off of work until fall, and Briana now has a conflict with the one week we thought she could go. Of course, we'll still take the trip, but they both wanted to visit. Growing pains!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Quiet Time

Yes, it has actually been a very quiet month in our everyday life, if not in volume. I have been home~not out of town~since Dec. 20th. That is the longest stretch for me since April of last year! We have spent this month, just being. : ) And, actually, I gave my body a rest at one point, and did not leave my house for 15 days!!! Can you believe it? It was terrific!

In our home school, we are plugging along quite well. Daniella is whizzing through math, and loves it. She is still struggling with reading. The phonics thing is just not clicking, at least yet. I am not worried, but she gets frustrated because she wants to read so much. Most of the words that she can read at this point are words that she has just memorized their spelling. She can sound out words, but it is extremely laborious, and it never gets much better. Marissa could never read by phonics, so we may be taking that path with Daniella. We have finally reached a change, that I hope is permanent, in Marissa's attitude toward math. She struggles with it, therefore, she hates it. That part has not changed, but her willingness to sit down and just get the work done has changed for the better....much better. We are also enjoying a lapbook on the human body, especially Marissa. She finds it fascinating.

They both started piano lessons~ Daniella in Sept. and Marissa in Dec. We were quite surprised Marissa wanted to take, but so far she is persevering. We are also seeing the connection between being good at math and being good in music that we have always heard about.

James is in the midst of repainting a great deal of the inside of our house. Yay!! Nothing exciting. Just freshening it up, and getting rid of a wallpaper border in my living/dining area that was ancient. We are going to choose a new color, perhaps a smoky gray/blue for the foyer. We are also going to paint Briana's old bedroom, as we get rid of the little girl, and turn it into a guest room. sigh! : ) This past week, we went to Big Lots and bought a solid wood bed for that room for $150! The one in there is a rickety, old, worn out brass bed that she has had since she was three. We are all glad to see it go. : ) She bought her bed for her apt. at Big Lots, and has been thrilled with it. The quality is very good, and it is a beautiful sleigh bed, so we think we will like this new one. Ashley and I packed up a lot of the things Briana had left here and cleaned out her closet last week, too. AND! while we were at Big Lots, we used Christmas money from James' mother and bought a couch and love seat by Ashley Furniture for our den. I am so thankful to be rid of that 14 year old, green sectional! Well, almost rid of it. We have to get someone to help James haul it off, so right now both of them are in the den. Between that mess and the mess of all the moved furniture in the living/dining room because of painting, my house is quite the disaster area. I'm ready for furniture to start crawling back into it's place.

Ashley found out last week that a magazine article that she submitted to TOS is being published in the Spring issue! Very exciting for her....well, all of us! I was as excited as she was. She is absolutely loving her job at camp, and is so excited about the spring events and summer camps. It will be new to her, being in the roll of staff, and she's a little nervous, but it is going to be great. She loves her bosses, and they love her.

Briana will be opening in Annie next Friday night. We will be traveling over on Wed. so that James can take dress rehearsal pics on Wed. and Thurs., then we'll come home on Sun. afternoon. Can't wait to see it. Also, this week, she was ASKED to audition for a small cast show opening in March. This is a big deal to be asked to audition. This play is mostly professional actors. There will only be one or 2 in the cast of 9, who will not be professionals. She could be one of them! : ) The audition was today. There were 6 girls/women today auditioning for one role, and she was among the 3 who got called in for a 2nd reading!! Later, they texted her, and told her to come back Tues. for a call back. Whether she makes it or not (which would be so thrilling!), it was a super great experience for her today going through this different type of audition and doing cold readings of the part with these professionals. Plus, great that she was asked to audition and called back.

As for me, I started a Beth Moore Bible study a couple of weeks ago on Esther, and I have picked back up on my scrapbooking. I am working on a scrapbook of Briana's shows. I got Shenandoah finished, and am now tackling Hairspray. Talking about picture overload. Too many to choose from! It's fun, though.

Thank you to those who checked on me. Life has been full of God's presence, God's teachings, God's training, my stumbling, my learning, my leaning. We are still going through some spiritual trials with a loved one (not in my immediate family), and it keeps me on my knees...and on my face ....before the Lord. He has made us great and precious promises, and He is teaching me, in even a deeper way, to hang onto those and not take my eyes off of them or Him.