This is My "Real" Blog: February 2010

Angie's Blog!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Fasten Your Seatbelts. . . .

Well. . . the first of two very crazy weeks has begun. After a brief "rest" yesterday afternoon--note I didn't say "nap," but "rest" -- I headed over to JBC for setup and a fairly comprehensive rehearsal with the different morphs of our band. That's right -- in five (5) services there are at least four (4) different configurations of singers & instrumentalists.

It worked -- it was busy, but it worked.

I spent the morning at work (like usual). And, we had our "typical" Monday morning staff meeting -- although there were doughnuts. And sadly, that's not the norm.

After my meeting, I played "catch up" and tried to start getting things checked off the never-ending "to-do" list. I'm fairly certain that all things that need to get done will get finished, but there's always a bit of a challenge in the process.

I have a student at JBC that is doing a "mentoring leadership" project with me this semester. She and I meet once a week - for an hour or so -- and we spend time talking about the role of women leaders in churches. She's had some very interesting challenges -- she's a preaching major -- and by and large, Christian churches do not support the ordination of women. So, in one sense, she's already fighting an uphill battle. However, she's planning on going into Women's Ministry -- and there won't be nearly as many obstacles for her to overcome in that realm.

After our meeting - I eked out a bit more work, and headed home to greet a school bus. It's always disturbing when Caroline comes home in different clothes than the ones she was wearing when she got on the bus, but I've learned to take things in stride.

This afternoon, however, she got off the bus in a long-sleeve red shirt (it was Clifford the Big Red Dog day), black leggings that she's nearly out-grown, one sock, and two shoes.

Yep - she was quite the picture.

Turns out, she had an accident at school -- and I know there will be more of them before we completely cross the potty-training hurdle. But, the "ragamuffin" look she was sporting this afternoon was a stretch.

Dinner came together -- and following bathtime, we decided to make a movie. I know it was pushing her actual bedtime -- but there are just some things you do because your spirit tells you that you need to do them.

And with that, I present our movie. It was made for Beth . . . with lots of love. . .and a few blinked-back tears.

After that, what more is there to say? I can't think of much more.

Pray for me. . .for us. . . for this week. It's going to be a long one. But, in the end, I think it will all be worthwhile. Bottom line - we're worshipping, not performing. And as long as I remember that -- and keep the thought in the front of my mind, all should be well. People are praying. God is good.

. . . seriously, is there more to say?

I didn't think so.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Go Jesus! Go, go Jesus!

In between hearing sweet statements like, "What happened?" or "Mommy!" or my personal favorite, "I have to go potty," we sometimes hear "Go Jesus, Go!" That's right--Caroline is now cheering for Jesus. Let me explain. . . .

On the Wii, you create characters -- Mii's -- for each family member. We have Mark, me, Edison, Caroline, Becca (my niece), Grandma, and Grandpa . . . . and Jesus.

I guess there's some code you can put in to create a Jesus Mii for your Wii games. And yes, very often, Jesus shows up -- he may be bowling in the frame next to you. Or, he might be cheering for you during a boxing match. He's always in a white robe -- even on Wii Sports Resort, where everyone dons Hawaiian shirts. Not Jesus -- he's still in his Jerusalem garb.

So, it was natural, I suppose (earlier today) to hear Caroline "cheering" for Jesus. I'm assuming he was bowling. Edison has played as Jesus a couple times -- and although acting as the Messiah, he (Edison) has beaten me -- he (Jesus Mii) doesn't possess any divine powers that make him a superior Wii player. And I'm glad.

. . . because that would make playing the Wii a whole lot less fun. I'm just saying.

Welcome Spring!

No, I'm not naive enough to believe that we have left all the winter weather behind. But, we are supposed to make it into the mid-50s today. . . and 61 tomorrow. Honestly, that's typical late-winter weather for Tennessee. And this recent cold SNAP of 20 degree weather, including snow, ice, and freezing rain has (quite honestly) stunk. (I was going to use another verb - but chose this one. . . Mom reads this, don't you know?)

I just leaned back in my computer chair - and can see the mountains in the distance. It's either English Mountain or LeConte - not sure which one. The sky is a gorgeous blue, and there's still a bit of snow up on those mountains. After the last couple of weeks - they can keep it. I love looking at it from a distance -- but one of benefits and blessings of living in the southeastern United States is mild winter weather.

He Won! He Won! He Won!

On Tuesday, Edison had to submit the display board for his school Science Fair project. Praise the Lord in Heaven -- this is the last one he has to do. I believe he will have the option to participate in the coming years. But, I suspect that his science fair career has ended. And not a moment too soon. . . .

On Tuesday night, he received a text message from his biology teacher - letting him know that he had received some sort of award. But, she told him there would be no details until Friday.

Fast forward to yesterday - I drove over to the school during his 7th period class to pick up his bass guitar and amp, and he pulled a purple envelope out of his pocket. It simply said, "President's Award: Music of my Heart"

He had won the President's Award - which is basically the Head Master's favorite project. Pretty cool, eh? Even "cooler" was the enclosed gift card for Cold Stone Creamery. Mark has told Edison that he's to take me with that gift card -- because of all the work I did. But, honestly, I think I did far less this year than in years past.

. . . but if there's a free cup or cone in the future, I won't turn it down! Ha.

That was not, however, the biggest news. He was also awarded the Grand Prize for the Science Fair -- and will take his project to the University of Tennessee sometime in the next month (we assume) for further competition. I don't have any idea if he will win there, or not.

But this really is one of those times when it's an honor to be nominated.

Other Happenings. . . .it's BUSY!!

About this time last year, I agreed to lead worship at Johnson Bible College's annual Homecoming. It's a 3-day event at the Bible College just 7 miles from our house. Not being an alumnus of the college, it's kind of a huge honor -- and I'm extremely grateful to be taking 15 or 16 of my worship team members (many of them alums) to lead with me. However, this has added an enormous amount of work to my already busy life. It probably wouldn't have been so bad - but Caroline had that 2-week sickness--and four or five snow days following.

Yeah. . . .it was a good thing when she want back to school this week!

Homecoming is this Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday. I'm excited. I'm nervous. I'm anxious.

But, I'm doing my best to keep my focus on the fact that we're not "performing," we're leading. There's no competition. . . no judges. Just worship. And, I can live with that.

. . . but it will be nice to have it finished on Thursday.

But, that's not all I've signed up for. . . you know me better than that, don't you? I'm also leading worship at our upcoming Women's Retreat for church. It will be a 4-session video teaching by Beth Moore - whom I adore. We have about 45 women planning on attending. I'm very, very excited. But again. . . that's four additional worship "services" that require planning and execution - along with the usual stuff I get to (have to) do. So, I'll be jumping from one big project to another.

But wait!!! There's more. You kinda knew there would be, didn't you?!

On Friday (yesterday) I received an email from one of the Youth Ministry professors at JBC (Johnson) asking if I would teach a class for his preaching class -- about leading worship, worship planning, and balancing work/ministry. As flabbergasted as I was to be asked -- I was totally honored. And, once I worked out some logistics with Mark -- I was able to respond that "yes" I would do it.

When is it, you asked?

OH. . . the Friday afternoon of our Women's retreat. Of course.

I don't need to be at the retreat until sometime after 4 p.m. -- and the class will take place at 1 p.m. - and it's only an hour or so. So, I'll have plenty of time. . . . yeah, right.

But, as my mom reminded me on the phone this morning -- I tend to get myself into these situations, and somehow come out without being killed, wanting to do myself in, or murdering someone else. So, all in all, it should be fine.

Yes, I'll keep you posted.

Ya Wanna Be a Pirate, Matey?

Caroline had a follow-up visit with her eye surgeon (she didn't have surgery, but he is a surgeon) to see if her glasses have been helping her eyes. And, they do see some improvement.

However, they're still seeing some "wandering" with both eyes -- so we are beginning (today, in fact -- in just a few minutes) a rotating patch on each eye. She will wear an eye patch for 3 hours - on alternating eyes - six days a week. Rather than put something on her lenses, we've gotten a bandage-type eye patch.

The way the doctor explained it to Mark - this is going to "trick" her brain into not favoring one eye over the other. From the way he described it to us back in the fall -- she doesn't have a "lazy eye," as it were -- but there are some muscle control issues. And, if we can eliminate the need for surgery by doing this --we're ALL for it!

Because of the limited amount of time she has to wear the patch(es), we will do it during the afternoons, when she gets home from school. I have no idea how this is going to go over, or even if it is going to go over. But, we're going to follow doctor's orders, and see what happens.

Saving the Best for Last. . . .

Beth sent an email last night with the incredible, spectacular news -- the doctors feel like the tumor in her throat has decreased in size. So much so. . . .that they've almost completely ruled out surgery. (That part is HUGE!!!!)

She will, however, continue her chemo treatments (two more) and begin radiation (35 days, basically) after the chemo is finished.

Oh, how I wish and pray that the doctors would say that the tumor (she's named him Ignace) has completely disappeared -- and there's no need for any additional chemo or radiation. Wouldn't that be one for God's Record Book?! Man, that testimony would preach!

. . . but so will her current journey. The faith and trust that she and Tony, and all their kids and extended family have placed in our Faithful God. . . and the assurances they're getting from him as He is healing her and giving her back so much for her faith?

Friends -- that is a testimony that will preach!

Well, that's it for now. It's been a long time since I've blogged -- nearly a week. I'm sorry. But, as you can see, life at the Aubrey house is moving at its typical frenzied pace. And although I wouldn't want it any other way. . . sometimes I find myself looking for that brake pedal.

Enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

It's My Super Bowl. . . .

. . . I can cheer if I want to!!! That's right, baby! Tomorrow - as soon as we can pull ourselves away from church - we'll begin watching the 52nd running of the Daytona 500.

This is my Super Bowl.
This is my Opening Ceremonies
This is my Gala.

. . .and yes, this year, this is my Valentine's Day.

(I think we're even having leftovers from last night's really good dinner - just to keep the romance alive!)

I love everything about the Daytona 500. I love the interviews and feature pieces on drivers - old and new.

Mark Martin - in my humble opinion, if Jeff Burton doesn't win, this the guy I want to see grabbing the checkered flag!

I love the back stories from owners and drivers that I truly admire.

This guy is welcome to have dinner at my house -- anytime. Mark and I both enjoy every thing he says, does, drives, or watches. Michael Waltrip is a class act!

I love hearing his big brother, Darryl Waltrip say, "Boogity Boogity Boogity - let's go racin' boys!" (Of course, I get to hear that more than just for the Daytona 500 - but I still love it)

And I love the fact that this guy

Whoops. . . I mean this guy


is willing to watch all these wonderful races with me. He's even been crazy enough to take me to a couple of them.

Oh -- and the Olympics? Amazing, so far. I'm a big Apolo Ohno fan

Just watching him glide along -- and overtake guys in a split-second? Does me in.

So, for someone who has (literally) no athletic ability. . . and is famously not the world's greatest driver? I'm kinda liking this time of year.

What's that? You want to see a famously awesome driver?
Okay. . . you twisted my arm.

That's right -- Edison is now the proud holder of a drivers' permit. (I have taken up the use of controlled substances!) Nah, I'm kidding. He's not bad for a rookie. I've let him drive my van twice since he got his permit on Thursday. He's only really scared me two times. And both of those times, it was more my "Mama Nerves" than his inexperience. He's going to do great.

So there you have a brief recap of our week -- racing, skating, baking, and loving. That's right -- I'm loving these next couple weeks. . . and months!!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

It's Not Me!

This beautiful new blog header you see? It's not me.

It's my wonderful friend, Melany, who originally got me into blogging. She designed my first blog -- maybe even wrote the first post (ha ha!). But, over the "years" she has kept me looking good -- well, you know what I mean.

And, this is no exception -- this blog header is great! Girl, you rock! Thank you so very, very much!

Now. . . . go over to her blog, and tell her what a great job she did! Go ahead . . she's really sweet -- and she'll love the attention.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

This One's For You. . . .

A few weeks ago, on Facebook, I declared that "Weekend in New England" was my favorite Barry Manilow song. But, for me, that's kind of like trying to pin me down on my favorite flavor of Sonic flavored Diet Coke. There's lime, vanilla, cherry, diet cherry syrup. . . .so many flavor combinations. . . so little time.

I really do like the song, "This One's For You," and remember many afternoons singing into my microphone (hairbrush) to that song -- dreaming, hoping, wishing that Barry was singing a duet with me. I know. . . I know.

Sorry. Slight digression there. But, if you remember Barry, you're humming one of two classic songs. And. . .you're welcome.

I realized, with the busy-ness of the holidays, and getting a new computer -- I haven't posted pictures in ages. I'm sorry. I really am. So this long-awaited photo-filled post should hopefully fill some need in you, if you've wanted to see pictures of my family. Or, at least the kids!

I don't set out to put cryptic titles on my blog posts. And yet, I nearly do all the time. Today's post . . . .today's title. . . it is for a very special someone -- and her mommy. Jenni, my sweet friend. . .this post is for YOU!

I don't *think* I posted a picture of this. . . .I went on a field trip with Caroline's class in December. It was a lot of fun. We went to the Christmas Show at the Black Bear Jamboree in Pigeon Forge. We actually had to leave during the show - two times (!) - to go potty. Her, not me. That was a fun, fun day! *Even though her face doesn't seem to reflect the joy!!

Jenni - here's where you're gonna love this post. Guess what Caroline is OBSESSED with these days? Jigsaw puzzles. Seriously -- if she could color, play her drum, and do jigsaw puzzles all day, life would be a dream!

. . .and the little stinker is getting really good at them!

She's also decided that this. . . .

. . . is the face that she'd like to use for all pictures in the future. Ahem.

Back in December, our family went to Country Tonight theater, in Pigeon Forge for their Christmas show. It's kind of become a tradition with us. . . Dad takes harmonica lessons from their musical director, and Mike (Dad's teacher) gets us freebie tickets. Great deal -- lots of fun. During the Christmas show, they always sing a song about children -- and invite kids from the audience to come up and sit on the stage while Mr. Kevin sings to, and about them.

Caroline has done this two or three times -- usually with an escort (Edison or Mark). This year, she declared that she was "big and brave," and was going to go up by herself. And that, she did. . . .

The young man to her left, I have learned, is a student of my friend Kathy. The young man on the right shares that "extra little something" with Caroline. He is the Theater Manager's son - and though I'd heard about him - we hadn't had a chance to meet him through our local Down sydrome group. It was very interesting watching him watch Caroline. . . instinct is strong. And, they both enjoyed hearing Kevin (good looking guy in the red jacket) sing. Caroline was very proud of herself - and we were proud that she was "big and brave."

One of Caroline's Christmas presents was a doctor kit. Our local library has one -- and every time she and Mark visit the library, she gets the doctor kit out, and plays with it. Needless to say, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman may officially have some competition -- because Dr. Caroline is on the case!

The patient (victim) in these pictures is her newest baby doll, Polly. Polly is a great baby doll - but she's BIG. She wears 3 month clothes. It's comical, watching Caroline try to cuddle, or even carry her around. But like everything -- she'll grow into her!

And of course, when the doctor is done, what do they do with their stethoscopes?

The put them around their necks. See??

The doctor is in. No waiting.

This past weekend, my niece Becca, came for a visit. Unfortunately, Caroline was very, very sick in the early part of Becca's visit - so they only got to see each other for a couple hours. They made up for the limited time by filling every minute with Wii bowling and boxing. . . .

And, of course by filling our hearts and minds with the joy that only music can bring. . .

Yes, that is a recorder. At some point, just before the 4-snow-day week we endured after two weeks off of school, Caroline's music teacher sent home her recorder. I can't say as I blame her -- I would think getting recorders into the homes of 250 kindergartners would be more pleasing than keeping them at school. Sigh.

Speaking of music. . . .

I am so proud of this young man. He is really starting to "blossom" as a musician. He has filled in twice for Mark on the bass at church. One Sunday, while Caroline was sick - he agreed to play, and was sightreading the entire service. Granted, he knew the songs. But still. . . .

And yes, we are staring down the barrel at "get your driver's permit" week. He seems to think it's going to be one day next week. We will have to see. I'm not sure there's enough Tylenol PM in the world for me to sleep once he's got his permit.

Last thing. . . I promise. (I'm out of pictures)

Since the advent of this blog, many of you know that we moved into our house nearly two years ago. I love my house. I loved my old house. I love the fact that I've lived in my little (unincorporated) town longer than I have lived anywhere - in my life. And, the twelve years that we lived in our old house -- was the longest I've had the same address and/or phone number. EVER.

But, I love my house. I love the people that used to live in this house. I love the fact that this house was designed for them -- and it meets my family's needs. I love that it's quiet. I love that it's on the end of a dead-end street. For the most part, I love my neighbors.

The only thing that I was lacking? A pantry. And, if I'm honest, I didn't have one in my previous house, either--or the one before that. But the one before that had a kickin' pantry. And once you've had a pantry -- you somehow always need one.

So, what do you do when you need/want a pantry, and there's place to carve one out? You tear out a wash sink (that you never used) and take down a mirror, clock, and towel bar. . .

And, you put in these awesome shelves. . . .

And then, you relocate stuff out of crowded cabinets - and fill them up. . . . and there, my friends, you have a pantry!

For you "anti-pantry" people out there. . . . can't imagine there are too many of you -- because pantries ROCK? We have a message:

Hee hee!

Seriously - I have to thank Mark for the awesome job he did on these. I just mentioned it one or two (hundred) times. And he came through in a big, big way.

Thanks for making it all the way through. Jenni - like I said, this one's for you. Your love of jigsaw puzzles has always made me smile. And your love for Caroline has been such a HUGE blessing in our lives. Give your mommy a big old hug from Caroline and me. One of these days -- I promise -- we'll come to Canada and do jigsaw puzzles with you.