My Favorite 2012 Jazz Band Song

The Jazz Band teacher openly admitted this was the most challenging jazz song she’s ever taught one of her classes and as you can hear, the kids picked up on it pretty quick.

We have some pretty talented young musicians in our area. πŸ™‚

(And yes, Jazz has gotten bonked in the head a few times by the trombone player behind him. πŸ˜€ )

Abundant Life

Teaching: The Discipline of Forgiveness – Parts Three / Four

Every Sunday I provide videos and valuable links to the Truth or Tradition teachings. We’ve been following the Truth or Tradition teachings for many years now and they have truly blessed our family. We have found peace and happiness through our beliefs and we walk confidently for God. My hope, by passing on this information to you, is that what you find here, or on the Truth or Tradition website, will guide you to a better, more blessed and abundant life.

If you would like to read my views on religion and how we got started with the ministry, you can read this.

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We’ll Be Back to See You Soon, Chicago – Part Three


And that pretty much sums up the weather we had when we went to Chicago.

(We went to Chicago back in March. I’m just now updating … because I work full time during the days, update websites at night, clean house, spend time with the family and workout in between all of that. OMG – who has time to blog anymore??)

We slept in our first day in Chicago. I love when we do that – I mean, I want to go exploring but what’s the point of vacation if you can’t take it easy and actually get some sleep?


Actually. We slept in too long. (Much to Kevin’s chagrin. He’s a go-go personality and it drives him nuts to sleep past 7:00). We would have gotten an earlier start, but with teenagers in tow, it’s easier said than done. Not to mention when you share one bathroom for four people, it’s sort of a juggling act.

We finally left our hotel room around 11.

A taxi was waiting for us when we exited the hotel. He was actually waiting for someone else, but said he would run us over “real fast.” The customer that he had been waiting on called him and I could tell he was getting anxious to get back to his original customer. But Kevin tipped him well, so hopefully that was enough of a “thank you.”

The Aquarium was quite a ways from downtown Chicago and by the time the taxi dropped us off at the Aquarium, it was pouring rain. Luckily, I had the foresight to bring along two umbrellas and Dude and Jazz shared one and Kevin and I shared one. We were also lucky that the rain was coming straight down and it wasn’t windy because even though we stayed relatively dry, if it had been windy, we would have been soaked.

When we arrived at the Aquarium, we were shocked to see the line snaked around the building. We ended up waiting in line for about an hour in the pouring rain. It finally stopped raining when we reached the awning into in the building.

We laughed about it, because really, what else can you do at that point?

(I wanted to take a picture of us standing in this long line in the pouring rain, but I was afraid I would ruin my Canon, so I didn’t. Just trust me when I say, we were one of about 100 people waiting to get in that day).

At least the rest of the day had no where to go but up from that point on. And it did. We really enjoyed the Aquarium.


There was so much to see and do, but I’m glad we only allowed half a day because by the end of the day, we were ready to go.


We saw a cute dolphin show, and otters, and penguins, and sharks … we even paid a little extra so we could see the jellyfish exhibit.


Aren’t jellyfish creepy? And fascinating? And creepy?


In between looking at aquatic animals all day, we ate at the food court. It had stopped raining, but a thick fog rolled in and it looked like this outside:


Then it started lifting and all we could see was the bottom half of the buildings:


It was like the fog was it’s own character out of a mystery story. But it was also equally cool how fast it moved in and out of the area.


We stayed at the Aquarium until it closed. And I wish we had more time to sit and watch the penguins and otters play, but by the time we got around to seeing their exhibits, we only had about 30 minutes left until closing.

I think the boys really enjoyed it. They weren’t brooding, so I’m taking that as a good sign. ha!


By the time we left, the rain and fog had moved off, but it was pretty overcast and COLD.


Our next challenge was to figure out how to get back to our hotel, which was downtown, about ten two miles away.

We were going to hail another taxi, but every taxi that came along was snatched up by another desperate tourist trying to get back to their hotel.

So we took a chance and got onto a bus that we hoped would get us back downtown … somewhere. Kevin and I had walked to an EL train station while the boys were getting ready and bought a bus pass for all of us as we were planning on trying to ride the bus to the science museum the next day, so we had bus fare on us and got onto the bus.

It was a bit stressful getting back as we really had no idea where we were or where the bus would stop along it’s route. Once we saw a familiar road, we got off. We only ended up walking just a few blocks back to our hotel, so it all worked out okay. I used to get SO STRESSED when it came to traveling and especially when I wasn’t sure how I was going to get somewhere or where I needed to go, but I seem to be mellowing with old age, because it doesn’t stress me out as much as it used to.

We made it back to our hotel and Kevin ordered two medium (which ended up being HUGE medium) pizzas from the Italian restaurant inside our hotel. We had so much pizza left over, that we put the left overs into the fridge and ate the rest of it the next night. Even thought he pizzas were ridiculously expensive, it actually worked okay because we got two meals out of them AND didn’t have to think about where/what we were going to eat for dinner the next night.

(Now we can say we’ve had both New York AND Chicago-style pizza – the real deals, not the store-bought versions).

The next day, we got up earlier to head to the Science Museum, but we ended up burning a lot of wasted time trying to figure out which bus would take us there. Actually, we knew which bus would take us there, we just couldn’t figure out where to board it. It was bus number 6 and though we saw plenty of bus number sixes, they were all on the wrong side of the street. We walked about five blocks before we finally gave up and hailed a taxi.

It didn’t rain on us that day and the line wasn’t nearly as long, so we got in fairly quickly. We paid a little extra for the Mythbuster’s show and it was worth it – the boys really enjoyed it. We all enjoyed it.

I really love science museums. And this one was huge. In fact, we could have easily spent two days JUST at the science museum. We got there around 10 and we really had to book it through in order to see everything. (We ended up staying until closing time).

We saw trains …


… planes (a real 727, actually)


… tornado machines …


… various machinery contraptions …


… (Kevin’s favorites) …


…stagecoaches …


… giant ball … er … thingies …


… falling shadowy dots that you could “catch” with your arms …


… and periodic elements …


(In fact, we really had fun with the periodic elements table … take a look …)

… there was one area that had an entire floor of small machines that you could experiment with, I think Kevin could have stayed in this area all day, quite frankly …


… we even saw a full-sized submarine …


I know. How cool is that?!? Unfortunately, we didn’t go on board because that was extra and we had already paid for the Mythbuster’s show.

And speaking of which …


One experiment, you had to try and dodge a bullet…


… and try and run through a rain shower without getting wet first walking, then running …


… remember the episode with the telephone books?


I wish we had allotted more time at the Science Museum, though I think we saw everything, we had had to walk through pretty quickly so as not to miss it.

We should have started with that museum first.


(Look closely. Do you see Dude’s face on the juggling man? I don’t know why I thought this was so funny, but I nearly peed my pants laughing. I think I was delirious, if you want the truth).

We had a great time at the museum.

And we had a really good time in Chicago.


And I can’t wait to go back.

In June.


That’s right. Kevin and I are going back, without the boys this time. We’re flying out of Branson (we got one HECK of a deal on flights), and staying another two days. We plan on hitting a lot of the architecture tours that we didn’t get to do last time. I can’t wait to take more pictures and see so much more of Chicago.

I just pray the weather is better this go around. But just in case, I’ll be bringing our umbrellas again.

Thanks for sticking this post out. I know it was long, but I really wanted to write this out so I can MOVE ON TO OTHER THINGS. Sheesh. Talk about dragging a trip out.

Day-By-Day, Work Stuff

My First 5K, Meetings Suck, Color Change

Hold up, ya’ll … guess what I just got talked into …

Yep. My first 5K.

*high fives the monitor*

Oh yeah. I’m walking (cause who are we kidding, I don’t run, okay, maybe I run a little, and by a little, I mean about 20 steps) the 5K. Which, I just found out today, works out to be about 3.5 miles and NOT five miles like I first thought it was. Ha! (And you only THOUGHT I was an idiot!)

When I found out it was only 3.5(ish) miles, I was all like, “I’ll do it!” Cause I walk 3+ miles now whenever I do the treadmill thing.

Easy peasy.

So yeah. A bunch of us at work are going to do this and I can’t wait, actually. I don’t plan on hanging out with them the entire event, but it’ll be fun to start off with them and then talk/laugh about it later. And I LOVE walking outdoors. I’ll have my iPod playing some sweet walking tunes and it’s going to be fun zipping through all of the other walkers as I pump my arms and speed walk my way to the finish line.

(I’m one of those dorky walkers who pumps her arms … you know the ones I’m talking about. And don’t even tell me you don’t snort with amusement when you see them cause honestly? It does look pretty stupid. But it’s a GREAT workout for your arms).

Now I just hope it doesn’t rain cause this thing is a rain/shine sort of event.

I’m excited. I’ve been wanting to do one of these for a long time and now I have an excuse to do it. And it’s for a good cause. We’re raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network, a charity close to my heart (Dude was a preemie), and we’re raising money for the CARE mobile specifically, which is a mobile unit that doles out free health/dental care to about 10,000 children in surrounding areas every year.


I’ll be writing more about my experiences later. Stay tuned!

Yesterday was Administrative Professionals’ day. I had no idea. It’s not like I have that day clearly marked in red on my calendar and make a point of counting down the days until it arrives.


No really. I had no idea the day even existed until one of the nurses I work the closest with came up to me and said, “What type of topping do you want on your ice cream sundae?”

“Come again?”

“What do you want on your sundae? We have ….”

“Who’s paying for this?” I asked. (Cause nothing’s free, remember??)

She mumbled something, but I didn’t catch it. I learned from other people what day it was.

So, it was fun to be served by my boss.

I could get used to that. πŸ™‚

I could get used to having free ice cream sundaes, too.

We had a meeting at 7:30 today. I wish they would get off the meetings kick. Meetings are okay, about once a month. But this bi-weekly thing is just annoying.

Especially when your boss calls in sick and doesn’t even make it in after she made a point of sending everyone a reminder email the day before.

And when we all sit around and stare at each other because there’s no one there to lead the meeting and we really don’t have anything to talk about.


Hey. I got an hour overtime so I’m not complaining … too loudly.

But still. I’m lobbying for monthly meetings from now on because I would rather sleep in an extra thirty minutes, quite frankly.

So we all voted on our next color. For those of you that don’t know, we wear different colored scrubs every day.

Olive on Monday
Eggplant on Tuesday
Teal on Wednesday
Lavender on Thursday (*puke*)
Wine on Friday

Olive was the oldest color, so that’s now out. And though I TRIED to rally the troops to get rid of that gawd-awful lavender color (seriously, it’s like we’re all at work in our pajamas – I DESPISE that color, i.e. Thursdays), I was out voted.

Olive is out and Charcoal Gray is in. (It’s technically called “pewter” in the Cherokee brand).

Now. If I can only persuade the girls to mix the colors/days up a bit so that we end up wearing that gawd-awful Lavender color (*puke*) on Fridays instead of Thursdays, because Fridays are our slow day and we rarely have a doctor in on Fridays, so there won’t be that many people who SEE us in our PJ’s …

I’m a rebel, people. I’ll have those girls eating out of the palm of my hand before very long, mark my words.


Should Students Be Required to Pay Back Their Student Loans?

What sort of asinine question is that? And how STUPID do people have to be to think they DON’T have to pay a loan back?

You borrow the money to go to school – you borrow someone else’s money to “buy” a product, in this case, that product is your education, you need to pay it back, dumb ass. It’s a loan. That’s what a loan means – you borrow money, you pay it back.

I mean seriously, people. DUH. You don’t want student loans? Then don’t borrow money. Get a job and pay for the classes as you go along. Sure. It’ll take you longer to get through school, but you won’t be $60,000 dollars in the hole after graduation. You don’t want $60,000 student loans? Then don’t go to a university where they charge you $60,000 – go to a cheaper school. But you want to go to a more expensive school? Well, I want to quit my job and travel the world.

You don’t always get what you want. You compromise and make sacrifices. It’s called real life.

But it’s not fair,” you whine?

Tough. Life’s not fair. Get over it.

Stop being such a whiny ass and buck up. NOTHING IS FREE. GET OVER IT.

OMG, this stuff drives me bat-shit crazy. We have spent the last 100 years brainwashing people into thinking they’re entitled to crap – that some magic fairy is going to come along, wave his magic wand and *POOF*, you get everything you could possibly want. Screw the people you’re getting it from, they EXIST to serve you. They EXIST to grant your every wish … AAARRGGHH….

I’m sorry, but this entitlement attitude just really pushes my buttons.

Look. If you want something, work for it. If you need money to get that something and you borrow money to get it, pay your damn loan back.

It’s not rocket science. Stop acting like people exist to give you things. It’s insulting.

(Click the blue arrow to play)


Obama missed votes on student loan bill he now wants to extend

Abundant Life

Audio Teaching: Understanding the Book of Romans: Righteousness by Faith in Christ

by John Schoenheit
The book of Romans is the great doctrinal treatise that forms the foundation of the Christian faith and clearly sets forth that salvation comes by faith in Jesus Christ. Many people are overburdened by sin because they erroneously think it puts their salvation in doubt. Christians who believe in Christ think that if they commit sin, then God will not allow them to live forever. The New Testament teaches a great message of blessing and hope that when a person has faith in Christ, he or she is righteous in the eyes of God, that is, he or she has “right standing” with God.

To be righteous in God’s sight was the great desire of God’s people in the Old Testament, and Deuteronomy 6:25 says that if the Jews were careful to obey all the Law they would be righteous. Because “righteousness” was so important to the Jews and such a big part of the Old Testament, Romans couches what believers have from God as “righteousness,” instead of the more well-known word, “salvation.” Now, after the death and resurrection of Christ, people are righteous in God’s sight by faith in Christ alone. In this teaching, John Schoenheit covers what “righteousness” is, how it was obtained during Old Testament times, how it is obtained today, how it relates to “salvation,” and why so many Christians ignore the testimony of Romans and seek right standing with God by trying to do good works.

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