FFCC Championship

So, for the last 5 months, my son has been practicing for Indoor Drumline Competitions.  His last performance was this past Saturday, April 7th.  They placed 2nd in their division in the state.  YEAH!  So proud of them.  They worked so hard and I couldn’t be happier for them.

The day began like many other competition days with the loading of the trailers.  This time, though, my son stepped off the ramp the wrong way and sprained his ankle.  Not fun.  He did, however; perform on it, swollen and all.  We later went to have it x-rayed and no break.  YEAH!

They performed at 12:30 pm and awards were at 9 pm.  We spent the rest of the day watching the rest of the groups perform.  My parents always come to watch my son perform and they love spending time with him, which makes me happy for them all.

Several of our friends showed up, too.  Such a great day.  Well, except for the sprain, oh and the fact that I started getting a sinus and middle ear infection.  UGH!  First my left ear filled with fluid, then the left side of my throat and neck.  By the time we left that night, the right ear was plugged, too.  Doctor appointment on Tuesday confirmed this.  Feeling better today, though and food has a taste and smell other than black pepper, so life is good. 😀

The week has been busy, too.  The music department has been forced to participate in the school musical, which is a disaster.  Three weeks of three day rehearsals, the show  premiered on Thursday evening.  Tone deaf kids sang flat notes and danced in a crazy, uncoordinated bird style.  However, the band sounded great, especially since it was professional level music.  The most shocking part of the play was when a teenage girl performed a chair dance that rivaled a stripper at a club.  I could hardly believe it.  I have to say, the saving grace of that dance was the gal was slim with no shape or breasts to speak of and had nothing to “fall out” the front of her dress.

They perform again tonight; but I have church, so I’m dropping my son off on my way out.  I feel sorry for the band members.  They sit on stage the entire show and so does their director.  They, too, can hardly believe that the performers are doing such a bad job.

Why, you may be asking, has the play only had minimal rehearsals and horrible choreography and singing?  The man who is running it.  He has forced the band director (his first year) and the choir teacher (her first year) to participate in this disaster, gave minimal notice, horrible direction, and no choice.  He then told the audience (for nearly 20 min before the show started —  LATE) that it was the first time they’d been able to collaborate together.  SMH.  What a putz.

Monday, we’re having an Indoor Drumline and Color Guard party to celebrate victory for the season.  The school year is rapidly coming to an end.  Next up, last concert of year and the band banquet.  Following up with the prom and Senior Awards night and then onto graduation.  YEAH!

Here we go…..

 

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Happy Easter

He is Risen.  We are free!

Our church held an outstanding service last night out of Luke 23:39-43.  As Jesus hung on the cross, he was with 2 other men.  Both tried and convicted.  Both sentenced to death with Him.  One a heckler of Jesus, the other a believer.  One was given a guarantee of paradise.  Yes, he was guilty.  Yes, he was sin filled.  However; just by belief, he was set free.

God meets us where we are.  He doesn’t care that we’re sinful, he cares only that we BELIEVE!  In Him.  He is my Lord and Savior.  He is my hope and faith.  He is my everything.

My son & I went to see “Paul The Apostle” on Friday afternoon.  Great movie on the life of a great man and follower of Christ.  He didn’t want Dr. Luke to write an accounting of his life; because he was afraid people would begin to worship him and not Christ.  He recalled those he had killed for following Jesus.  He had a recurring vision on meeting those people in eternity.   He begged the Lord numerous times to take away his suffering, only to be told, “No.”  He was faithful and spread the word of Jesus to all the places he went, right up until the very day of his death.

I am so glad they are making more quality movies about biblical figures.  I especially like the ones that stay true to form of those men and women in history.

God’s grace is fresh daily.  He gives us the strength to endure today.  He wants us to lean into Him for His help in all things.  When we don’t lean into His strength, we fail at tasks; but when we give it over to Him, we succeed.  He wants us to succeed in all things.

I’ve learned that when I take His plan and run with them in my own steam, I fall short.  His plan, His will, His time, His way.

I’ve also learned that I am enough.  I’m not perfect.  I know that; but I also know that it’s okay.  He loves me anyway.  How beautiful is that?  He loves me, accepts me, and thinks I’m to die for; because He did!  The Lord created all the things on earth and He created me, too!  And YOU!  He thought the world needed us, and here we are. 😀

Not everyday is easy.  As a disabled person, I suffer pain daily.  But I know that with His strength, I can conquer the day.  I may just go from the bed to the living room; but it’s something. Pain sucks; but it also keeps me close to Him.

God calls us to be a light in the darkness.

School Walk Out

We do not need stronger gun control laws, what we do need is better Mental Health Care.  Laws don’t stop criminals.  Laws don’t stop gun violence.  An unarmed citizenship allows dictatorships to become a reality, just ask the Jews from WWII.

I remember while I was still in school, Bernie Goetz shot and seriously wounded four men who tried to rob him on the subway.  This was not the first time he’d faced attackers trying to rob him and when the first time ended in the attackers getting a slap on the wrist, he got angry.  This seems to me to be the start of people taking social injustices into their own hands.

I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, advocating for any type of vigilante justice or justifying anyone shooting anyone.  However, I should be able to carry a gun in order to protect myself and property from anyone.  I can also do a lot of damage with a knife, a bat, a crowbar, a broken glass bottle, etc.  If I am wanting to do damage, I will find a way to do it, regardless of the weapon and will get any kind of weapon, illegally or not to do it.  That’s just the way people work.

If I want to hurt you badly enough, I will find the means with which to do it.  It is that simple.

On the other side of the coin, we have a lot more mental illness springing up all over the place.  PTSD is running rapidly through our military, domestic violence sufferers, accident victims and violence survivors.  We have bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, ADHD, depression, dementia and OCD that cause our brains to act in a non-normal way.  Sometimes they are easily identified and sometimes they are not.  Sometimes they are controlled with medication, sometimes they are not.  The stigma we have placed on mental disorders has people who suffer them hiding in shame.

I remember when I was 13 years old and suffered from chronic ear infections (and still do to this day) my pediatrician told my parents it was psychosomatic (all in my mind) and my father freaked out fearing they’d stick this in my medical records, stigmatizing me for life as someone with a mental disorder.  Crazy, right?  True!

We, as a society, need to tear off the Band-Aid that hides people in a closet of shame for being sick.  We do not choose to be this way, it just happens.  Whether it is because of trauma, chemical imbalance, birth/DNA or whatever the reason, mental illnesses are no different than having cancer, influenza, Lupus, arthritis, liver disease, etc.  It is out of the person’s hands and is no more controllable than the sun rising and setting.

I suffer PTSD.  I also take Cymbalta for it.  I will never be able to come off of this drug; because of it.  Without this drug, I can’t go out in public, I suffer in anxiety in crowds, I have uncontrollable episodes of rage and violence, incredible bouts of fear, my mind likes to cycle into madness and my fight or flight response is in overdrive.  I am not ashamed of my PTSD; because it shows the world that I survived what could have destroyed me.  I have had four traumatic instances in my life that have caused me to be at this point in my life and each one could have easily destroyed a weaker person.  I think of it as a badge of honor, not a stigma of shame.  I wish others could feel the same about themselves.

I don’t want to see another school shooting.  I don’t want to see another Oklahoma City bombing.  I don’t want to see another Washington Sniper or Las Vegas Shooter.  I want to see mental health care given a priority.  I want the stigma removed from it.  I want us to live in a better, more caring world.

Taking our guns away will not stop the violence.  Those who wish to do harm will find a way.  We need to wake up and help our fellow humans to be better humans.  Wake up, people!!!  We are turning into our own worse nightmare and if we’re not careful, we may wake up imprisoned by the very people who want to use violence against us.

Walking out for gun violence is not going to solve anything and most who walk out will only do it to get out of class.  Addressing the underlying issue will go a lot further than unarming our citizens.

Whatever you decide to do, be safe while doing it.

God Bless!

 

The End is Near!

In 2 months time, my not so little boy will be graduating high school.  I can hardly believe the time has flown by so quickly.  I can still remember the day I found out that he was growing inside me and how I waited, anxiously, for his arrival.  And now, 18 years later, graduation is drawing near.

He’s kept me busy over the years.  T-ball, scouts, music lessons, concerts, marching band, indoor drumline, competitions, field trips, the daily grind of to and from school, etc.  He has already performed his last MPA (3 this school year), his last marching season and has only FFCC Championship in April for Indoor Drumline.  His last concerts will quickly follow and then it’s nothing but graduation from there.  Oh has the time flown this year.

His last MPA was this past Friday, which was followed by an Indoor Competition on Saturday at Cypress Bay HS.  He made All-County Jazz Band this year and yesterday and tomorrow will have practices and the concert tomorrow night.

As I reflect over the last 18 years, I can’t help but feel a sense of pride in the terrific young man he has become, despite all the obstacles in our way.  He is truly amazing.  At Cypress Bay on Saturday, after awards, we were waiting for our director to return when a number of the members of his “team” got out on the gym floor and began doing the “Ian Dance”.  This lead to other schools joining in and much laughter.

What is the “Ian Dance” you ask?  Let me explain.  My son and I watched the movie, “Meet the Robinsons” when it came out.  We love that movie and especially the T-Rex.  As Rex is trying to do the bidding of Bowler Hat Guy, he can’t do so because of his tiny arms.  My son & I have for years pulled our elbows into our sides, shortening our arm length and pretended to be Rex, with mock cries of a frustrated T-rex.

Fast forward to high school and crazy antics in the band room, where friends would gather and sometimes break into dance while singing or listening to music.  Now, enter, my son.  This young man would pull in his arms and flop his hands about “T-Rex” style,  turning left, then right, then left, etc., much to the enjoyment of his fellow bandmates.  Thus the “Ian Dance” was invented.  Never a dull moment.

What I won’t miss from all this is the dreaded parent pickup line, fundraising, parent meetings, driving to and from endless practice sessions, early morning alarms, and teenage drama (mostly from his friends, he’s pretty drama free).

I’m excited to see where God is leading my son.  He’s a hard working young man and I am so proud of all he has accomplished.  I can only imagine what God has in store for his life and the direction in which he will be taken.  God has truly blessed us so richly and I am beyond grateful for all that we have and all we have overcome.

God is good, all the time.  God is faithful, all the time.

What is wrong with people these days?

Saturday, I chaperoned my son’s Indoor Drumline trip to Riverview HS.  I so love volunteering and spending the day with the kids and my son.  In the morning, the Color Guard performed and then in the evening, the Drumline performed.  It was a long day; but I love watching them perform.

After my son’s team performed, the battery exited the gym to remove their drums and return to remove and fold the tarp. As I exited the gym, I realized they only had one person to hold the doors open, so I stood to the left side of the entrance and held open the door on the left for those exiting with instruments.

At this time, I noticed two students had not returned to the gym with the rest of the battery and that a girl was having a panic attack. It looked like she threw herself down on the ground in a fit.  I told another Mom to check on her and directed the boy to go assist with the tarp. I turned away from the situation and focused on helping those exiting the gym.

As I was helping to guide one of the instruments over the threshold, the girl entered the alcove and tried to reenter the gym. I turned and told her she was not needed and to step away. She in turn, tried to push her way through me and screaming in my face that she needed to help. I and another student told her the tarp was folded and just waiting to get through the door. I then told her to she needed to step away from the area.

All instruments and the tarp were then successfully removed from the gym. As I walked away from the doors to await the group loading the tarp on the cart, the girl was still throwing herself around in her fit and I guided her away from the others and tried to get her to calm down. I told her to breath. She pushed me away, saying she couldn’t breathe. I tried to get her to refocus away from the panic and she told me to get away from her. I then instructed her that if she didn’t calm down, I was calling an ambulance because she was becoming a danger to not only herself; but those around her.

Her panic ended after hearing this and she ran over to help with the tarp. I then talked with the tech and told her that this girl was out of control and was a danger to not just herself; but those around her.

As I walked away from the tech, Mr. and Mrs. S (band director and Guard instructor)were approaching and I walked toward them. At this point, I was not going to say anything; but wait for a better opportunity to speak with Mr. S in private. However, Mr. S read my body language and asked what was going on. I then explained what had occurred stating that in my opinion, if she can’t get herself together, she is going to wind up hurting herself and those around her.

Mr. S then asked me if she put her hands on me. I told him yes, she had pushed me at two different times. He then called out the girl, instructed her that she was never to put her hands on a parent or student and stated a parent meeting was going to be scheduled for Monday evening and he left the area. I turned to retrieve the first aid bag and the girl ran up to me, distressed, telling me that she was in a panic attack and didn’t intentionally do anything wrong. I told her to step away from me, I didn’t want to hear it and I didn’t want her to be in my face.

At that time, I took the first aid bag back to the trailer. I waited for the other parents to return with the kids, gather up my stuff and went to the bus to wait. There were more than enough parents present that I felt it would not pose a problem and distanced myself from the situation.

Now, before I reveal my questions, please know that I am not a “hater” of anyone.  I love and respect everyone, no matter their illness or persuasion.  IMO, it has nothing to do with me and is none of my business.  So, excuse my curiosity.  No offense intended.

Okay, so here is the question?  What is up with all this crap?  More and more kids are having panic attacks, ADD, ADHD, and what have you.  There are more kids these days identifying as gay or transgender, etc.  What is happening?

Can someone explain what is going on?  I don’t understand.  Is it something with all the chemicals in our food and beverages?  Is it that parents are raising their kids this way?  Is it that we can no longer spank our kids?  Are we letting the government have too much control and we just can’t raise our kids the way we were raised?  Is it that the earth is now too close to the sun and we’re on our way to hell?  I just can’t figure it out.

When I was young, I didn’t know anyone with these types of situations that were my age.  We weren’t medicated.  We weren’t in identity crisis.  I’m at such a loss as to what has happened to cause all this.

I’m not saying I didn’t know people who were gay or transgender; but not at the rate and amount of those who now identify as such.  If someone can tell me what is happening, I’d love to know.

BTW, I mean no disrespect.  I’m just curious.  I’m saddened for this young girl.  It just seems like there are more and more people who just can’t handle life anymore in any way.

Sons & Daughters

Have you ever read a book, listened to a speaker or got to know someone and were blown away by them?  Back in December, shortly before Christmas, I was on YouTube and watched a video.  It was a “Sid Roth:  It’s Supernatural” episode featuring a man named John Bevere.

I watched a 30 minute video in which Mr. Roth interviewed John Bevere about the Holy Spirit.  It was a great video and as I had recently finished the book, “Forgotten God” by Francis Chan, I was very interested.  I searched John’s name and came upon his  website: Messenger International. At this site, I found a few books that caught my interest and ordered 3 of them.

John’s book, “The Holy Spirit” was one of them.  What a great book.  I devoured it and filled a notebook with notes.  I also ordered “Girls With Swords” by his wife, Lisa Bevere.  As I began reading the book, I looked her up on YouTube.  I cannot tell you how many of her videos I have watched.  This dynamic woman and her husband are wonderful people.  What an incredible couple in ministry to our Lord. WOW!

But it gets better!!!  They have four adult sons who work in the ministry field as well.  They are Addison, Austin, Alec and Arden.  They have a new site ministry they have recently debuted that is as powerful as their parents.  Sons & Daughters ministers to those in their twenties to forties (IMO) but even though I am approaching 50 this year, I found it to be just as helpful to me as well.  I’m following them in Instagram as well.  (Though my son’s friends laugh; because almost all of those I follow are Pomeranians.)  LOL!

Yesterday’s video was by their son, Austin, about depression.  It really hit home as I have suffered PTSD and depression for over 25 years.  It is so helpful to know that others who are Christians, also suffer.  It’s also great to know that our Heavenly Father loves us so much that He will help us in our time of need.  Austin shared encouraging scripture, his own journey and offered encouragement for those who also suffer.

I have to say that this family has so impacted my life over the last few months and I believe that God put them in my life for a reason.  He wants me to grow in faith and has shown me a family who’s faith is empowering to those who get to know them.

Shortly before Christmas, I found out that the plan God had for me was no where near possible at this time.  I was devastated.  I wanted to crawl into a ball and die.  I was angry and upset.  I railed at God for the deception.  Then, as days went by, I humbled myself to Him and begged forgiveness.  Since that time, I have been in the word.

I know He will not forsake me.  I know He loves me.  Scripture tells me that He will provide for all my needs.  I can no more turn my back on Him than I could voluntarily stop breathing.  I love Him.  I know that whatever He has planned for my life will be far better than anything I could ever imagine.

So, for today, I will continue to walk in faith.  And if you are in need of a spiritual lift, I highly recommend their ministries to you all.

Black Panther

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THIS MOVIE ROCKED!!!!

Incredible acting, incredible story, incredible action, another Marvel hit!

As a “comic book” girl since my youth, I am so happy to see another great, well scripted and put together hero come to the silver screen.  The Marvel franchise has put another notch in their belt with this hit.

I awaited this movie with great anticipation, as I have every Marvel movie since the first one, and was  not disappointed in the least.  I don’t care what any other reviewer says, this movie was awesome.

The beautiful landscape, the action and adventure, the plot, all kept you intrigued from beginning to end.  I laughed, I cried and I cheered.  This movie not only introduced us fully to another great hero; but was full of GIRL POWER to the max!!!  IMO, there is nothing better than a movie that not only empowers women; but gives little girls women to look up to.  These women allow little girls to have big dreams that they truly CAN do anything.

I’ve always been a comic book nerd.  My heroes in comics were Wonder Woman and Black Widow.  I watched Linda Evans on the screen every week playing Wonder Woman and loved her.  I also watched Isis, Shazam, Batman and Superman as well as the Super Friends.  I loved these shows and devoured comic books of my beloved Black Widow like a junky.  LOL!

I looked up to these heroes and let them inspire me to be more.  It’s one of the reasons I became a Marine.  I wanted to be a super hero.  I remember my first email address was “blackwidow@” and my father making fun of it.  He didn’t understand that she was my idol and inspiration.  It’s okay, though, he didn’t have to understand.  Before joining the Corps, I’d only known one woman Marine and she was such an incredible person and inspiration that it was like knowing my own super hero.  She died young, only 40 years old; but I knew she was a hero and that is what drove me forward.

I’m currently reading a book called, “Girls with Swords” by Lisa Bevere.  One of the things Lisa points out in this book is that women need to be empowered; because the enemy (satan) knows that woman will crush him beneath her feet as stated in Genesis.  We are mortal enemies.  It’s the reason women are being pushed down; but our time is coming.  We will defeat him.  We will rise up and we will beat him down.  It is only a matter of time.

Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

Women were made to be a partner with man.  We were not meant to be kept down.  We were made to fight at his side, to defeat the enemy.  Only together will we be able to bring him to his knees with our Father.

I truly believe we need to work together to give our children knowledge and power so we can stop drug trafficking, flesh peddlers, and rapists or anyone who puts us down as humans, stopping us from being courageous warriors.  We are in the fight of our lives.  Knowledge and power will prevail.  We need to stand together and say, “NO MORE!!”

I highly recommend this movie to all.  It is great and inspiring.

Best Laid Plans

This has been a crazy week for us.  The boy had rehearsals all week long.  He had a performance on Friday evening, after which, we planned to see the movie, “Black Panther”.  I even pre-purchased the tickets at the theater, so we could go from the school upon our return right to the movie.  Well, as we were running late, and just came off stage at 8:30 pm and still had to watch one more school perform, I decided to call the theater and ask them to assist.

After explaining the situation, the theater has left 6 vouchers for us to use today in their office.  So, today, I am bringing the kids to the movie and we’ll get to see it.

Yesterday, they performed for the Edison Light Parade and we could not go to the movie.  They had great weather for the parade, met at the stadium at 4:15 pm and those bands participating in the parade spent that time dancing and blowing off steam until sunset when the parade kicked off.

They returned to the High School at 10:22 pm and were good and tired.

Between preparing for various MPA performances and Indoor Drumline, we’re busy until the first weekend in April.  After that, just prepping for Graduation.  I’m going to look at a new place for us to move to for less than I am paying now.

God only knows where this life is taking us.  I’m just along for the ride. 😀

Warrior

I am the Warrior!

I am not just a survivor.  I THRIVE!

I am the phoenix rising out of the ashes.

You can kick me down; but I will always get up.

I WILL RISE AGAIN!

All that life has handed me has fallen by the wayside.

I have been molested.  I have been raped.  I have been beaten.  I have been hated by those who should have loved me.  I have an auto-immune disease that knocks me down; but has yet to take my life.

I have stared death in the face 7 times to date and still I live.

I am strong!  I have a monster inside of me that will not die.  She is a conqueror.

I am the hero of my own story.  It is the story that God has guided me through, encouraged me to keep going and to be the conqueror of.  It is not the story of the weak; but of the strong.

I am not a princess to be saved. I am not a damsel in distress.  I do not wait for a man to rescue me; but depend on Christ who gives me strength (Phil. 4:13); because greater  is He who is within me than he who is living in the world. (1 John 4:4).  And to Him be the glory given.

warrior

 

Award Shows

Oh, it’s that time of year again.  Hollywood patting themselves on the back with various awards.  Roll out the red carpet; because here comes the “I am better than you” crowd.  It’s bad enough that these people make millions of dollars; but then they have to flaunt it on the red carpet, dressed to the nines, and sashay on into a theater to await their name being called while we peons sit at home and fawn all over them.  It’s enough to make me gag.

Way to go!  Great job of playing “Let’s Pretend” or singing that popular song!!!  Wooohooo!  PUH- LESE!!!  What about you?  What are you exceptional at doing?  Do you show up to your job on time and do it to the best of your ability everyday?  Where is your award?  And don’t tell me it’s the paycheck; because these carpet walkers are getting paid the big bucks to do their job.

Maybe you’re a full time mom and a full time worker who hasn’t had a day off or even a pee break alone in years.  Where is your award???  Maybe you’re a full time dad, worker, scout leader, coach and carpooler.  Did you get recognized with a statue for your accomplishments?  NO?  Why not?

I’ll tell you why not.  No one cares.  Yup, that’s right.  No one cares.  It isn’t as important to anyone; but your family.  So why do we care about all the pomp and circumstance given to these yahoos for singing a song well or acting in a show?

I sing well.  As a matter of fact, I sing very well.  I never recorded a record.  I’m not a chart breaker nor am I about to be.  I don’t need the validation of others to tell me that I am, either.  You’d think their 7 figure salaries would be enough; but nope, they need to be publically recognized by the world.

Personally, it is sickening to me.  All that glitz and glam for what?  Maybe they should be saving the money they spend there to feed the poor kids here in America.  Maybe they should be rescuing animals from abuse.  Maybe they should be volunteering at hospitals to cheer people up.

Invest your money in helping others.  Did you know that the poorest people give the most to charity?  People who barely get by give more of their time and money to others than those who make big bucks.

Yes, I love movies and television and music.  Yes, I appreciate the talent it takes for these accomplishments, however; I don’t see the point in giving them awards for “doing their job”.  These are as ridiculous as these same actors and singers coming out and bashing politicians.  Heck, some of them screaming the loudest are the ones who have no clue what is even going on in this country.

I guess after seeing the 3rd commercial for upcoming award events, I just got a little bit pissy over the whole thing.  I don’t watch.  I don’t care to watch.  I don’t care who wins what.  I only want to be the best ME I can be.  And I do it all without getting an award for doing it, too!

100% Service Connected Disabled Marine, mom to teen son, widowed, Domestic Violence survivor, blogger and American.  Can I get an award for that?  LOL!

Okay, okay, fine.  No award.  Let me get back to my life.