28 December 2010

Things that make you say Hmmmmm...

I have had a great Christmas so far. I had so much fun at my parents house and was sad to leave, but excited to see Rick.  My nephews have called me every day since i arrived and talked to me. They each hug and kiss the phone to tell me they love me. its sooooo cute. I miss them so much. it will be hard living so far away from them. And the flight here was long. The first leg was USAir which i don't mind domestically, but even with the empty seat next to me, i was smushed and uncomfortable. I think I slept maybe a total of 2 hours on and off, but mostly watched movies.

The second leg was on Emirates, probably my favorite airline so far. The service is exceptional and the seats are much more comfortable. That's just the way it is. One day i aspire to fly Emirates Business or *sigh* first class, but until then, i'll take what i can get, and the flight was better than the first, but shorter. I finally arrive, I'm the first one from Economy off the plane and through customs, and then i sit and wait and wait. They are having trouble unloading the luggage they say. Small children get excited as they see my large boxes roll around the turnstyle and to the man loading them on the cart. One thing i love here is that I am never left looking for help, help is everywhere and i feel like a spoiled little princess :)

A vast majority of the passengers were hanging out in the Airport for the next 6 hours for a flight elsewhere. The man next to me was going to Iran. The ladies i met in the Gatwick airport were headed to India. I was glad to be done with my flight segments. One stopover is enough for me. I just felt gross and icky as anyone would who left at 630pm (EST) and arrived at 1130am (EST)  - so only 17 hours in transit, but i prefer the JFK - DXB non-stop anyday! There's also a direct flying on Etihad from Chicago. I'm trying to figure out what will work best for me when i move, but so far, I'm thinking Emirates since Ricky is a Gold member.

No, not that kind, but I think he loses his gold status renewal at the end of this year, but we'll make up for it eventually. I think its good until 2012.

I wrote a blog a few weeks back thinking it might move my number one reader, to have a little compassion and quit acting like such a grinch. Hey, the Grinch's heart grew and grew when he heard the Who's down in who-ville singing. But, of course I didn't sing. I wrote down facts and surveyed a lot of friends who all said the same thing, what goes around come around, but nonetheless, it didn't work. Ricks kids didn't call him on Christmas. I guess my better approach would have been to sing? 
So no phone call, and Rick called twice to no answer. And i "hear" that our gifts that were received against their will of course and were "donated". That will show us!! Isnt' it funny? gift giving on christmas is looked at as something done against ones will. I wonder if we sent CASH would it have been donated too?  Its totally against the Christmas spirit (not the giving part but the ungracious acts of hate that are blatant), and if that's what is going on in a house, where i have NEVER MET THE ADULTS< then clearly they are doing the right thing and being just outstanding citizens and i'm just being sore loser about this all. I mean, who am i to think my husbands children, who 2/3 had a GREAT time with me this summer and the other smiled and laughed a lot more than would admit, would actually call him on Christmas day or thank him for a gift?

Don't they all look MISERABLE!!
AND, What good parent WOULDN'T allow their kids to donate away Christmas presents from their father. Don't all "GOOD" mothers tell their kids not to call their dad and then drive to the store to return/donate any presents from him???  Yeah, i'm not a mother, i can't judge, but I sure know a stink when i see a stink and i think im going to puke. This is such a hoot. Who are we kidding here?? All this does is add more "evidence" to my point. Yeah, i've got a valid point.
I think you've poisoned the trees.
BUT: Here's the good news. I'm over it. I'm don't need to bemoan this. I don't care to waste my time showing countless acts of the injustice going on here, its futile. You can't shake sense into a rock. I'm sad for any kids that get positive affirmation for doing the "right thing", where by right i mean What the....??. Anyone on the outside can tell you "it aint right" but hey, you keep doing your thing, and i'll keep living a life well lived. I'm not going to get into a back and forth battle with someone who can't see the forest for the trees, but hey, keep calling me names, and it might help make you feel better. The bottom line is, This is Rick's business. i did have to say something about it because we are one, and his business IS, in fact, also MY BUSINESS Failure to acknowledge the tragedy going on is just not my style. If you can take a check every month, you can have your kids place a phone call every month. If that's too hard, maybe you quit taking the check? Speaking of Checks:
check this out. I'm gonna poke this with a stick then i'm going to leave it dead because the longer i hang around this stink, the more likely i'm gonna end up with shit on my hands. yeah, i said shit.

.. I poke things with sticks.
Quote of the Summer: (precede quote with "if you do ________ then...."
"We know,  that rebuilding needs to be done to improve your relationship, but we promise that we will do everything we can to encourage to work at rebuilding relationship with [kids] and you and your family, in small steps, i.e. phone calls, E-mails, lunches/dinners when you visit, etc.  In our opinion, [if you do _____] it will go a long way in starting to rebuild your relationship"

That being said, rick said NO to the proposed ___________. It was a smart move.
Since he said no, nothing has been rebuilt. Nothing has changed and in fact, it has grown worse and worse. Hey, don't get mad at me,  i'm just using the words (of my often number one reader ) to make a point. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF HER ABILITY TO ENCOURAGE CHANGE.
Failure to do so since she didn't get her way. Things that make you say Hmmmm.....
I seriously doubt that if had Rick agreed to __________ anything would have changed. That, my friends, in bold faced font is manipulation at its finest. And I guess we'll never know.
In all actuality, "we have an amazing case of parental alienation" - quoth the attorney
having said all this, .....

You know your life is just horrible when you can't decide whether you want to live in a high rise on the beach, OR, a villa down the road. Decisions decisions..... Hmmmm. I just cant' decide.

Today i spent the day at the beach, finished a book, and did a little work. I got to watch dozens of people skydive and see the small plane land over and over again after the last jumper safely landed. I saw a camel pulling another camel and giving rides to people. He sort of had a tantrum over it and I was glad he didn't spit on me. I watched a 4 year old girl named Sabrina tell her mother over and over that she hated her. I think Sabrina just wasn't getting her way and that was her attempt at manipulation. Stay strong Sabrina's momma! I rue the day i have a daughter with a temperament like mine. I am much more even now, but i have had my tantrums... oh yea. And i'm certain i'll have a daughter or two or four, unless i just never have a baby. Slim chance for that though. Once i got home from the beach, i completed my yearly review for work and did a little online house hunting. Then FaceTime chat with my family. Yesterday we talked to our 14 year old nephew and Ricks parents using FaceTime. It really is a convenient tool to communicate without the wires and bulk of carrying a laptop around.

I've got three more days left in the year, and still plenty of things to keep me busy. Rick had some time off but is now busy working and I'm acquainting myself with this amazing city that is constantly changing. We are going to go snow skiing tomorrow (weather permitting :) - http://www.skidxb.com/), and perhaps we will have a nice dinner and walk around the mall of the Emirates.

We will probably go for a camel ride, I intend to get a cool Henna painting on my arm, and then a few days in Abu Dhabi at a resort for some R&R.   We'll see how these next two weeks pan out. I'm just glad to be here. Even if he snores, Rick is pretty great.

22 December 2010

Christmas Present, Past and Future

My new home is soon to be Dubai. I don't know how long i will be living there, but I will be calling it home soon, and this Christmas I will be going there to be with Rick.  Rick had planned to come home. Things changed. His work schedule was one of the things that has been a bit tenuous, but he was still going to come for a few days. Since things changed (as indicated in a previous posting), rather than have him come here for just a few days and leave before new years, we decided it was a good idea, given the circumstances, that I go out there.

So for the third time this year, I am headed back to the land of sand and I couldn't be happier. I am so glad to get away from the cold weather, and I am even happier to see my husband. The distance hasn't been as hard these past few months as they were before his trip in November, but perhaps that is because I have things that have been occupying my time and energy. I am so very busy. I have last minute home renovations that are being completed while me and the girls are away, and then the house will get listed and hopefully sell in my time frame. The back up plan is to rent. Either way, i'm in a good situation and can afford to let it sit for a while, but my house really is ideally situated and with the changes that i'm making, i can't imagine it will be hard to sell, aside from the fact that the market is stale. I'll be sure to post my home on this blog when i return.

Today my lovely mother and father in law took me to lunch. They just happened to be in the neighborhood on their way to see Rick's older sister Shari, so stopped by. We exchanged gifts, but i'm not allowed to open mine until I get to Dubai. I had to promise not to peek and not to lose it, so i shoved it into the bottom of my handbag that is much too large be quantified as a "purse" and have since forgotten about it.

When I was in 4th grade, 9 years old, I got the chicken pox about 3 days before Christmas vacation, so i had to miss the last few days of school. It all started with a pock on the bottom on my foot that i mistook for a splinter, so i tried to dig it out. I had one on my nose (like rudolph) and then a few on my stomach, but the previous Easter I had poison ivy so bad my eyes were literally swollen shut, so my pox didn't do me justice. Nonetheless, i was stuck home because it is a contagious disease but i felt fine, so i mulled around the house all day, found all my presents hidden in mom's closet, unwrapped the ones under the tree and then wrapped them back. Here's a hint: most people don't look at the gifts they've already placed under a tree to see if the tape is still aligned as originally placed. Here's another tip, if you move a chair across the carpet to peek into the top of your mom's closet, after you replace the chair, it's a good idea to use your hand to "erase" the lines that you left behind, or its a sure give away. Not only that, but the night before xmas, i told mom, If santa is really real then i'll ask for a pair of slippers (since i already knew they were under the tree). The look on her face was priceless. "JENNIFER!!!". Yup. I'm a horrible liar and i'm not very good at keeping secrets. Oh i can keep *some* secrets, but not when it involves guilt. I'm too honest and transparent to hide deception. Poker is the exception to this but no real lies are being told when its a game. Life doesn't qualify as a game. Its real. People can get hurt.

But i hate surprises. I am the most in-genuine liar. I cannot sit by the tree, open an unexpected gift and say,oh boy thanks! just what i wanted. Socks! Am i ungrateful? i'm not sure. I just can't pretend. Unless its to my grandmother. She deserves to feel good. But that's just different. And to be honest, Now that i'm 30, I would welcome some new socks. Especially those comfy adidas ones that i wear and my dryer seems to eat. Where the heck do all the socks go???? Anyone? Bueller?
So that's the past and the present. AS for the future, I plan to be home with my family next year at Christmas. I am really looking forward to next year since it will be long anticipated after being away this year and moving away in the Spring. Big changes are on the horizon, that is for sure!

Tomorrow i leave for Charlotte, hang out with my favorite little boys and celebrate Christmas with my family before I head out to the North Pole, i mean, Middle East. Ellie and Marley will hang out with my family for a few weeks as they eagerly await my return. They are super thrilled about moving. Ellie has her microchip properly installed (after 2 attempts), and we are just biding our time until the transfer has been approved and the wheels are in full motion. So far so good.

What an amazing 2010 I have had, truly amazing as i reminisce. It was just a year ago that rick and I fell in love and the whirlwind romance we have had. My life is a fairy tale, and has proven to have a full cast of all characters. And I just love how fairy tales end. Happily Ever After. There are always some icky spots, but that's to make them interesting. Mine sure is interesting. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Well, almost anything. I prefer less drama in life, but i also prefer to live in harmony. Then again, I am the one poking the dragon, wondering when it will breathe fire again. I sure do hate the suspense! See? Fairy tales are FUN!

Joni Mitchell said it best ...
"Don't it always seem to go, you don't know what you've got till its gone. They paved paradise and put up a parking lot....."

I probably won't write again for a bit

16 December 2010

Its Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas (really!)

We have had snow fall three times this month and it is only the 16th!! Last year we didn't see any snow in December. The snow that fell early this morning was the best we've had yet! The roads were really icy and I learned something new about my car. When you lose traction on the road there is a beeping noise that occurs. I was really sliding around this one back road. It was empty, so it was fun, but i had to get control of my car. Fortunately I have experience hydroplaning, and not unlike that situation, regaining control in the ice/snow, is very similar. Times like this i miss my 36" tires and 4WD, BUT the heating system is top notch and definitely makes up for it. The key to regaining control, as with swimming out of a rip tide, is that you turn with the car and not against it. For me, this is a natural instinct, to let the car adjust itself while only guiding it, rather than trying to jerk the car to the place i want it. All that does it cause more fish tailing. I could go on and make some profound analogy here about control in general. The more you fight for control the less control you are able to maintain, but i digress, i slid around today, it was fun, there is snow and ice on the ground. And it looks and feels a LOT like christmas here. It has been below freezing for over a week straight and i'm really tired of the cold.
It IS nice to be home, where everything is covered in white, and you really know that Christmas is near. Something about fresh fallen snow to remind us of the holiday season.

When I am in Florida, or the Middle East, it is warm and aside from lights and festive decorations, nothing tells me it is nearly Christmas. But... this year, in Cary, NC, we have had lots of winter weather. I don't believe it is even officially winter yet! I appreciate the wonderful farewell that I am receiving. I know this is just me being silly, but its like mother nature is saying to me, Jennifer, you are leaving a 4 season climate for a climate of Warm/Warmer/Hot... So, to bid you farewell, I will give you a lot of snow and cold weather.
My reply??
Boy mother nature, I sure appreciate it, but it has been FREEZING here lately and i'm sort of over it. The snow is pretty and nice, but the cold? No thanks. Cold is misery. Cold makes my entire body ache all over. Heat doesn't hurt like that!

To end things on a nice note today: My three year old nephew told us that "God put a baby in his belly for Christmas".... I wonder if he isn't the next virgin mary?? :)

15 December 2010

Stirring up Murky Water

Rick and I were planning on going to Houston, Texas for Christmas this year. Rick has three lovely children, and it is his year to have them for Christmas. But sad things are going on in Texas, a place where children are saying things that I don't really think they mean. Even if they THINK they mean the things they say, Deep down, no child would act this way to an undeserving parent. And if anyone deserves to be treated badly, it is certainly not Rick Beeman. He may be goofy, silly, loving and fun, but he hasn't a mean spirited bone in his entire body, nor does he have any criminal history or background. No arrests. No crimes. Nothing in his past or present to indicate anything short of being an overall decent person. But I guess the meanness in others makes up for his deficit. Its the most ridiculous excuse I've ever heard, and i blame the adults in Texas for 100% of their actions attitudes and remarks.

Manipulation and Alienation are funny things. Hilariously sad really. To think that someone can raise children with another human being and 12 years later, decide that they no longer want to raise children together, the kids end up getting screwed. Its so sad to hear the things being taught in this house. I do not have to go there to know what is going on.  A little bit of psychology goes a long way in this world. That and some common sense as well as the growing statistics on the subject.

These kids are not bad, they are wonderful sweet kids. All three of them. But they have become a product of their environment. I don't have to witness the environment first hand to know without a doubt the crap that is going on.  As any computer programmer will tell you Garbage in/ Garbage out. Or to quote the bible, you will know a tree by its fruit. A good tree bears good fruit. You cannot claim to have Christ in your heart and hate your brother. These two truths can not co-exist.  And for a mother to do anything less than encourage children to be respectful, courteous, and to have a relationship with the person that has made their life possible is abhorrible. Yes, that is what i'm calling it. And if you want to see some of the synonyms with abhorrible - here they are:

Definition: loathsome, abominable, detestable
Synonyms: abhorred, abhorrent, accursed, atrocious, awful, despicable, disgusting, execrable, godawful, grody, gross*, hateable, hateful, heinous, horrid, lousy, low-down, maggot, monstrous, obnoxious, odious, offensive, outrageous, repugnant, repulsive, revolting, rotten, shocking, sorry, vile

And just so you know what this is not
: admirable, adorable, adored, cherished, likeable, loveable, prized, respectable, respected

And do i blame the kids? ABSOLUTELY NOT. They are not to blame  in the least bit. This is how they are being raised and how they are being taught.  The "parents" that teach/model/exhibit the behavior that is being acted out are at fault.  And i'm not going to sit here and look at a ship wreck and call it a steam boat. No, its a wreck. A wreck is a wreck. No matter how you dress it. It is going down.

Now i know some amazing children where their parents don't live together. These are my favorite kids in the world, though they are growing up. But their father comes INSIDE their mothers house, takes them to school, church and the like. Their father calls them on the phone. Their father is part of their life just as much as their mother. And their mother would absolutely not tolerate any disrespect or hate towards their father. Because that is not how civilized people behave. They put their differences aside, and carry on. For the kids. They model good behavior.

And the kids are still involved with his family and her family, because when you have children together, that is what you sign up for. Together or apart, the family is still the family. They have made ideal of a less than ideal situation. Because that is what well respected, mentally healthy individuals do for the sake of their kids, regardless of their own selfish desires.

There is no reason that Rick and I should shudder to even imagine stepping foot inside his ex wifes house, but we do. Not that we are afraid, but we are not even welcome on the driveway of the property to pick up the kids, and we would not be welcome to even sit in a parked car out front and wait. The pick up is more of a drive by. Kids jump in the car the instant he arrives and he has to quickly drive off.... or else. Or else WHAT?

What is wrong with this picture?? Why is it that there are actual threats and big fears here? Who is so intimidated by my husband and his relationship with his children that they have become scared to allow it to exist? And that's what i'm calling it. Fear. It is just Hurt and Fear. And this "fear" may be masked as anger, hurt, hate, dislike, etc etc, but children do not just suddenly put stipulations on a relationship with their father by their own doing. And by suddenly i mean over the past few years. It just isn't how a normal earth spins on its axis.  No, kids don't realize they can "manipulate" in this way unless it is taught. So what is going on here??

Children should not be allowed to "block" a parent from calling them. And a parent should equally encourage their children to contact the parent they do not live with, on a monthly, if not weekly basis. And anything else is just wrong. Children should be handed a phone on their fathers birthday and fathers day, Christmas and thanksgiving and told to call their father, regardless if they think they "want" to. 

If someone would allow the children to talk to their father, Or maybe a better choice of words here is  ENCOURAGE the children to talk to their father - then it would happen. I know good and well that their behavior is in their mothers HANDS and she could very well encourage good things, but this is simply not the case here. It doesn't take a PhD Psychologist to determine, you cannot control Rick Beeman, but you CAN control his kids. I wonder how long that is going to work out.

Its sad when the only glimpse of Ricks kids, or sound of their voice since September has come from a YOUTUBE video i found on the childrens school website while looking at their holiday calendar.

Rick's Son Max is the one to start the video out, and his daughter shows up in a superman costume in about the 2:36 mark. I'm sure they will be so angry that i posted this link. How dare i mention their names! Yes, that is how it goes. 

It is an absolutely heartbreaking situation and I do not blame the kids. No. I blame the people raising the kids day in and day out. The people modeling the bad behavior. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Its time for EVERYONE to grow up and think about what is best. Refusing to cooperate and encourage a relationship between the kids and their father sure doesn't  seem to be the "Christian" thing to do. How's that for Christmas Spirit?

If anyone wants to justify or explain why things like this are "ok" please, comment below. I would love to understand what i'm missing... Dare you provide any answers?

09 December 2010

Preparing for Christmas 2010

 Our stockings are hung by the chimney.... We sure hope we've been good!

Ellie and Marley have their own plans this christmas..... ROAD TRIP!!!

30 November 2010

Rationalizing Fear

- to ascribe (one's acts, opinions, etc.) to causes that superficially seem reasonable and valid but that actually are unrelated to the true, possibly unconscious and often less creditable or agreeable causes.
- to invent plausible explanations for acts, opinions, etc, that are actually based on other causes.

Have you ever watched a scary movie alone in the dark and suddenly every wind gust, every tree branch, or every creak in the house becomes something more, and you find yourself, phone in hand, blunt object in the other, locked away in your room, waiting. You eardrums pound with the beat of your heart. Your mind is full of ideas and you believe those ideas to be true, even if it is only your vivid imagination that has been stirred with these fictitious ideas that have made everything seem so real? You conjure up an idea and without proof to support or refute any claim, you trust the fear, and it consumes you. Your fear is real, regardless of whether or not there are any facts supporting it.

Do you stop to ask yourself, am I just making this up? That it might all just be in your mind, and nothing more.

There were times when I was really scared when I was home alone growing up, even into my teens. Empty houses make strange noises, most people know this. Now that I live alone, I can get a little spooked from time to time, but it is different now, because I have to reason that if there were someone out there, my dogs would bark and growl, and i would know something was up.

There are times that we have to ask ourselves if the things that we have been made to believe are real, or have we just been instilled with ideas that make us believe these things to be real??? The fear is real, but is that the only thing we prove to be true?

As a scientist I have a hard time believing anything without facts to support it, with the exception of my faith, and I suggest that everyone do the same. It is essential to our learning, our development, and to becoming a real part of society, and not just a cardboard cutout, of whatever it is that we have been influenced to become, be it through media, or through other people. We are all impressionable, and that which is taught to us in our youth, can be very good, but until we think for ourselves and can base our ideas and information with facts, we are just exactly who they have shaped us to become. Putty in their hands. Nothing more. Nothing less.

28 November 2010

Dangers of Misinterpretation

Have you noticed how this generation has a little trouble communicating?

Sending a text message rather than picking up the phone to call.
Its convenient when its a quick question that you would rather not take the time to make a call, or interrupt the person, but has it gone too far?

Email and text messaging has become the preferred method of communication, but its not just this new generation that is following the trend. I find that even my generation has followed suit and involve themselves in the back and forth of email or text messaging as they are incapable of communicating like civilized adults. Conversations that could be worked out in minutes through the flow of conversation takes hours, or even days due to misinterpretation and a lapse in time.

Hiding behind text invites a lot of room for communication failure.

Unless you are asking a simple question
"Are you almost here"
"where did you put the ___"

I find text and email too ambiguous. It invites a tone that just might not be there, and who is to say the person "hiding behind the message" is really the person they claim to be...

It is so easy to access someone's email account, grab someone else's cell phone, or invite another person to do your bidding of words.

I find that my "real" grown up friends will pick up the phone and make the call. So I can hear their voice, their tone, and their exact words. And I can ask immediately of the meaning if it is unclear. What is the danger of communicating this way? What are we afraid of? Are we just that lazy that we refuse to answer the phone or communicate openly without room for self interpretation? 

We are entering dangerous grounds allowing our children to hide behind their text messaging. They are failing to develop essential skills necessary for advancing in a hands on world, where, no matter how tech-savvy our world becomes, it still requires the basic competence of talking on the phone, and ultimately, face to face. 

Are we really going to let our fingers do all the talking for us?
Post Script:
To add to this, I myself find that I am too quick to send a text or email rather than use my own voice, but when it comes down to it, I will face anyone and anything. I find that being direct is the best approach and should always be your first solution before using alternative measures. in the end, your efforts will not go unnoticed. At least you can say you tried.

17 November 2010

Check out the BUZZ


Garage Sell Success

I had a garage sale this weekend, my mom was kind enough to drive up to help. She was awesome help too. My mom is the greatest mom in the world, and she came just as Rick was leaving so the timing was perfect, except he never got to see her. 

I sold a LOT of stuff, and the more I think about it, the more i realize, half of the stuff I sold I never even paid for. Old wedding gifts that went unused, gifts from former boyfriends, tools that belonged to a former spouse, things my mother gave me when i bought a house (i.e. furniture), and things that were left at my house over the years that I didn't want or need. I sold things that I took from Rick's house in Texas that were collecting dust in the attic, I sold some old clothes and dresses and there really was something for everyone. I was mostly amused by how excited everyone was about the kitchen drawer items. I must have made $20 just by cleaning out my kitchen drawers and cabinets. I had some really nice cake pans but I never use them anyways, so my trash is your treasure. I sold movies and video games (those i paid for) and my bike. I was sad to see my bicycle go, but happy that it is one less thing to deal with, and lets be honest, I haven't ridden my bike for over a year. Now that I have gotten rid of so much stuff, I am even more motivated to move. I made more money than anyone I know has ever made at a garage sale! $600!!! (and counting)...  Enough to make repairs to the cedar siding on my home AND  donate 10% to the church! Then I made another 100 this week at work selling more stuff on the online bulletin board.

I still have several items that I will sell online (and i'm certain they will sell), and then once I pack up the upstairs of my house, i'll have two beds, dressers, a desk, and a bookcase, and then a house and car!

The key to making money in a garage sale is to know your goal. If your goal is to make a lot of money, you will probably not succeed. If your goal is to get rid of your stuff for a reasonable price and you are willing to haggle and be haggled, then you will succeed. I am certain that the people that walked away got great deals because, again, my goal was to get rid of the stuff.  I mean, i had a jewelry box from Hello Kitty, aka Sanrio Surprises from the mid 80s (about the time Rick started college) that I sold to my friend Vanessa for $1 and her daughter stated, That's just what i always wanted (for Christmas). :) I love that kid. And my neighbors kids who came and took a halloween decoration that made noise (haha) and a trophy my soccer team won (what did i want with that??) 

So Garage Sell Success indeed! 

My mother and I then drove to the dump to take some worthless things (mostly trash and home movies). A large load to goodwill, and I have a friend coming in a week or two to take the things that i just couldn't sell and since i did so well, won't bother trying. We were worried (because of all the stuff I had set out) that nobody would come and the stuff wouldn't get gone, so the night before the sale, i prayed for my husbands safety as he traveled home, and I prayed for people to come to my sale. And they came and came. From 7am (despite advertised 8am time) to 11:45 they came in droves. There was hardly a time of quiet.

My last customer was a 92 year old lady on her way to volunteer at the Art Museum looking for items for her grandkids (probably great grandkids ). She drove by herself and walked without a limp, and I was just amazed by her livelihood! My dogs were well behaved, but the gold star goes to my mom for helping me !

Only 2 months to go give or take and i'm busting out of here! Excited to see what else life has in store!

11 November 2010

Ellie can be smelly

i had a dream that i somehow got my dogs to Dubai under the radar, but unfortunately i never had Ellie microchipped. So they wouldn't let me fly home with her when it was time to come back. She was stuck there forever with no record of even existing!

i gotta get my dog chipped :)

05 November 2010

Surprise of all surprises

I am a very hard person to surprise. It just doesn't happen. I am too curious for my own good, and tend to unravel even the best laid plan.

Last night about half an hour or less after i arrived home i heard a car door shut (in my driveway). I thought maybe it was a neighbors house b/c on the cul-de-sac, everything echoes and sounds closer. Then a knock at the door.

Nobody comes to my house and knocks on the door unexpected. I know when someone is going to come over. Only a few times have i been "blessed" with surprise visitors. I look out the window and don't recognize the car, so i open the garage door and walk outside.

A man is standing on my front porch and starts walking my way. Is it... ??
its rick? ITS RICK! I can't register how this is happening. How is it that he is here. All day I was frustrated b/c i found out i will be needing surgery and wanted to talk it over with him, but he was completely out of touch. I called his Dubai cell over and over, but no answer. I was getting upset.

And now, it all made sense. He was on an airplane. He was coming to rescue me from myself.

It was just tuesday when i begged him to come home to see me. I cried and cried because I was that miserably depressed and doing a horrible job at getting through.

And now, here he is. For the next week. I have him.

How's that for a surprise!

03 November 2010

A little hiatus

The most recent post i made about Amsterdam was a recapture of a trip i took in September of 2009.
There are many other trips to be written about with photos to accompany, but it was all I could think about on that day.

I am living in an overwhelming world right now... aren't we all?

I get it, mine should be so less compared to the things i COULD be dealing with.... but these are the cards i'm handed. This is my hand. And how how must i use my best time and mental capacity to conquer such things.

I miss my husband a lot. I won't see him until the end of the year.

My moving date is still not set.
My dissertation still needs a lot of work. i'm contemplating the what-ifs right now.
My day job alone is quite busy and i'm tired.
Not to mention the daily activities that must be done in order to survive.

I'm having a hard time finding any desire to eat, often going through an entire day with nothing more than an apple on my stomach.  I'm just not interested in food. I wish it weren't so, but that's just the way it is right now.
I wish i could say that this was awesome. That my pants are falling off of me and i'm wasting away into nothing because my body is feeding off itself. Isnt' that disgusting? My brain is probably eating itself too in order to get the nourishment it needs to function. Now that's an image. And to top it off, check this out:

My struggles are so small and minute in comparison with what's going on in the rest of the world, but this is my world. These are my struggles. And when people wonder why i'm not writing lately

Who has time to write? I guess i better go figure out a solution before i turn into a big pile of mush :)

15 October 2010

Some of my Favorite Things: Amsterdam

Ah! What a beautiful sky over the Concertgebouw,

You can walk around Amsterdam and see the most interesting things, like this piece of building art!


Beautiful Fall colors on the trees!

The Frozen Fountain, located on the Prinsengracht canal in Amsterdam is a cute shop that carries a lot of unique and interesting items. My friend and I spent a good amount of time walking around in wonder of all the curious things the store had to offer.

I fell in love with this chair and I will try to have one of these one day.

Here is the chair from my profile (AND the price tag)

I found it (more or less) on the designer, Piet Hein Eek's website, http://www.pietheineek.nl/en/collection/scrapwood/art.nr.2525 for a little more money.
 I'm sure i can work something out one day.

I love the streets of Amsterdam. Everything is mainly in a circle. Each Canal leads somewhere.Eventually you turn right/ or left, depending on where you go, and you end up somewhere in the middle. Everyone rides a bike. People wearing suits, women in dresses. Mothers with children in baskets or in a seat on the back. There is a specific lane for bikes, and its much nicer than the bike lanes we have here. I understand Europe is much older than the United States - at least from a civilization and architectural standpoint, and is much less spread out, and therefore they have adapted to alternate modes of transport. Or maybe i'm just full of crap with my theory, but i absolutely LOVE the cities in Europe I've visited. In Amsterdam, I stayed in Vondelpark which you see in the bottom left corner. The train station is to the North East and the Airport is to the South West. The beauty of Europe is the ease of which you can travel between countries and within cities. Public transportation throughout the US sucks. Sure some cities like NYC, DC, SF, and i'm sure Boston, Chicago, Philly, and Seattle as well, have the right concept, but our transit is so limited to within an urban area. Altanta has the MARTA.  You can get to the airport and hope the next city has public transport, or you rent a car. I went from Amsterdam to Paris to London by train and  used the public transport and my legs to tour each city. You miss out on so much by being in a car. I mean some cities you have to have a car because the city is like 60 miles wide, but that's the big old US of A for you. Its just too big and spread out. We are lucky.

07 October 2010

The Best Thing Ever!

Happy birthday to the most handsome, loving, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self controlled man i know.  My father set the bar pretty high, but i'm quite certain that Rick will stretch far beyond.  

Even my mother remarked that Rick Beeman is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and i'd have to agree. While he has his weaknesses as we all do, his strengths are abundant and he compliments me in a way to encourage my strengths while building on my weaknesses. He makes me want to be the best me i could possibly be.

He is the Yang to my Yin. The Moon to my Stars, and the salt to my potatoes. (if you knew rick you'd laugh at this )

I am sad that I cannot be with Rick today to celebrate with him, but I am there in spirit.

I love you very much Rick Beeman!!! I always will. No matter what. 

I guess i'll have to eat this cake myself

13 September 2010

shipping out...

rick is moving in less than 24 hours. He is out runnng errands one last time. i am home sick. Just in time for nobody to take care of me. it has been great to have Rick here with me, even if his snoring did get on my nerves, he was happy to wake up each time i shook him and asked him to please stop. I think i scared the crap out of him every time i did that, but i'm sure he'll miss it.

The dogs are REALLY going to miss having him around every day to let them in and out and take them on walks. I guess its my turn to exercise, which is actually good because i've been a bit sedentary lately.

I am pushing forward with my degree, regardless of the end result, and I plan to move out by the end of the year. I am going to try to rent out my house, so will be working to get rid of my "stuff" before then.

I have amassed so much crap over the years. I have no idea how. When i went off to college my senior year, i could fit it all into my Camry (which btw had huge trunk) but now I have bedrooms and offices and a kitchen full of dishes and cookware and appliances and china cabinet and flat screen tvs and lamps and plants, and fabric and patterns, and patio furniture and lawn mowers, and other yard equipment and so on and so forth. Not to mention enough clothes to outfit a small country. I have way too much stuff i realize, but it is going to take so much time to go through it all. Time that is precious to me.

Some of the things I own i will put into storage either at my parents house or i will rent space. The rest will go into the yard sale. My mom will be here next weekend to help me sort through the stuff. maybe i can get here here 2 in a row so that i can sort one weekend and sell the next. I guess that is the plan, but i should probably call my mother and let her know. She might not have the same in mind :)

time to play house one last night.... say a prayer for rick and myself, We really are going to need it.

09 September 2010

The Friends and Family Plan

This blog is public and thus I find myself censoring what i have to say, careful not to step on anyones toes. At least not flagrantly. Censorship in the media and press is really a knock to our first amendment right. The freedom of speech. So I found a solution.

If you are part of  what i am calling my "Friend and Family Plan", then I have a treat for you.
Behind the Scenes look, uncensored. It is a private blog that will be accessible by invite only

Just send me an email request and I will add you to the plan.

07 September 2010

Some pics..

The Birthday "cake"

Party Crew minus the sleeping kids

sweetest dog ever

31 August 2010

SWELL Birthday!!

Once again, as with all the other years, I had a great weekend to celebrate my birthday!    Rick, me, and two other couples went to the beach. The waves were unbelievable and I knew just from the looks, that the rip tide was being affected by Hurricane Danielle.

Friday night just after sunset, I took the dogs into the ocean for a swim. Even then I knew that it was going to be rough current all weekend.  Now I’m quite the experienced swimmer. I believe I have been swimming for about 27 years now. I have always been quite the fish. And the Atlantic Ocean is no exception. My father used to take my sister and I out on a raft, deep into the waves, and help us ride them back to shore.  I remember being deeper than my feet could touch, dad would let us hold onto him or the raft, and we would play for hours. So I’m not afraid of the ocean, the seaweed, or even the sand and waves, but this weekend, I knew better. I read numerous reports of rescues and drowning from over the weekend, so instinct was right on.

Loving the ocean is no different than falling in love, you must learn how to respect. Without respect, there is no love. And I love the ocean, but even more important I have a great respect for it, and while I did a little swimming this weekend, I knew my limitations and kept my feet on the sand.  Once on Saturday, Rick and I got out a little far, but he instinctively knew that it was going to be a fight to get in. At first I tried to swim in, and I was going nowhere, so instead of wearing myself out trying to get out of the current, I swam parallel to the shore and then found a way in. It was hard work, but its like second nature to me. I have been swimming in the ocean since I can remember. When I lived in Florida, I would swim against the current as a way to train for the triathlon that I’ve never quite managed to sign up for. If you panic, you’re likely to lose, but if you keep your composure, and do as you’ve been taught, everything is just fine. You don’t have to be afraid, but you definitely have to know your limitations. Red flags were flying all around the beach telling swimmers about the rip tide. The waves were amazing, but I’m glad my surfboard was back home… I’d have paddled out well beyond where my feet can touch, and perhaps I’d have been swallowed alive.

My birthday was wonderful, spending with good friends and fantastic weather. I am now the proud owner of an iPhone 4 and some really cute clothes. Spending my first birthday with Rick was a great success, he was wonderful to me, and set the bar for birthdays to come quite high. To top it off, I had around 100 Facebook comments, private emails, and phone calls to wish me a happy birthday, which really made me feel the love.

Rick and I are off on vacation for the long weekend, then back to reality. I am wrapping up my life, and getting ready to move on.  Still have tons to do. Can't wait to move past this part of life and onto the next.

24 August 2010

Beach and Beach some more

I love the beach. Its where i feel most at home. The calm sound of the waves as they hit the shore. I like the deafening sound of silence. Where the roar of the ocean drowns out the noise and you are left with only your thoughts and the sea. Its a good place to regroup and gather your thoughts

I have never lived further than a few hours from the beach. Growing up it was about a 3 hour drive.
In college it was a 30 minute drive or less depending on where i stayed. Now its about a 2 hour drive give or take.I can't imagine being landlocked. I even applied to Colorado State University for Grad School but that was mainly for a backup to my backup.  I wanted to go to UCLA. I even applied and was even accepted.. I really wanted to move to California, or so I thought, But the cost of living was just so expensive there was no way I could afford it on my own. Looks like I might end up out there anyways. But not just yet.

My parents used to live within 5 miles of where my house is now back in the 70's. They used to take day trips to the beach with their friends, or would get a cheap motel room and make a weekend of it. I don't like to stay in cheap motels. I'm pretty spoiled like that. My family used to stay in motels on our family vacations, and looking back, we probably stayed in some dives. My parents always had decent money, we weren't swimming in it, but we were comfortable, but i guess that is how we were able to stay comfortable. Affordable vacation. I'm not sure how i became a hotel snob. I stayed in hostels in Europe, mainly because it was affordable and because i went to these cities to see things, not to see a hotel. Having said that, i'm still quite the snob. The money i save in hotels i spend in shopping. I still cannot wait to go back to Paris. I'm hoping that sometime next year we will be able to go back. But there are so many other cities and countries i have yet to visit. I often dream of foregoing child bearing so that I can travel the world, but i'm not just sure that the traveling will satisfy the need for rearing children. I guess I don't have to decide right now anyways.  Travel until i get knocked up or until the air fare for a baby is no longer free. I like saying knocked up. I know you're not supposed to its all improper or something, but until i am "with child" I think it sounds just fine .

Back to the beach. I have a friend with a beach house who is going to let me and a few friends "rent" it out for the weekend. Nothing like celebrating my birthday with some good friends and the beach. Davy and Vanessa are bringing their kids, Im bringing my dogs, my other friends are leaving their kids behind.

Typically for my birthday I get a hurricane. I've been in several hurricanes over the years, living where i do on the East Coast. Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana on my 25th. I'm hoping this year the storms hold off for just one more weekend. Then it can rain forever for all i care! Especially considering i won't see much rain for the next many years to come. I better enjoy it while i can.  At least the weather will be quite cool this weekend.

19 August 2010

Good Bye Soccer

I have retired from soccer again. I feel like Brett Favre, constantly announcing my retirement, then playing again. Will i ever completely quit playing soccer? no. absolutely not. Where there's a ball, a pine cone, a small enough rock that it doesn't break my foot, or any other piece of trash that can be rolled up into a roundish object, I will continue to kick. I just am no longer going to play competitively.

thats it. I'm done. And i'm so happy to be done. I ended on such a great note! We won the Neptune Soccer Classic in Virginia Beach for the second year running. And did so with great results. Came back from two games of a 0-1 deficit to win both 3-1. We were awesome! And now we are done. At least I am. And the timing couldn't have been better:

There are some amazing ladies that played on that team and were just awesome and appreciative and great people. The great thing about moving on, is moving on. And as I write this, i am doing just that.

I’m over it. so - Good bye. Goodbye Raleigh Rage. Thanks for the numerous wins. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Girls will be girls. Period. No matter the age. I have a better phrase, but i'm being a big person here. As for me, for now, It is retirement. We won the season twice, we won the Neptune Soccer tournament two years in a row and now I’m done. I choose to quit while I’m ahead and still able to walk. Cheers!

17 August 2010

12 more days... not that i'm counting.

I had a great weekend! Rick and I drove to my parents house for a nice relaxing weekend with my parents, and my sister, brother in law, and 2 nephews. The dogs came too.

Carter is 3, Brady is nearly 2.  They were so much fun. Carter is my best friend and seriously follows me around EVERYWHERE I have to be careful because he will say anything i say too. Rick and I took carter to his first movie ever! He did such a great job too. Sitting still, not talking, We went to see Toy Story 3. Rick Cried. He's already seen it. He cried anyways. It was emotional in a cartoony type of way, but i can't really manage tears in times like that. He cries at the beginning of UP too. We left that movie with my sister for the boys to watch. I tried to get Carter to watch Aladdin but he was not interested. I did give them a magic lamp, and Brady LOVED it. He did not want to put it down. He called it his "juice" and kept telling me it was all gone.

On Sunday afternoon, we went on a walk with the dogs. It was supposed to be a super short walk, but we had so much fun. It started raining. Drizzle at first and then downpour. We were soaked (except our backs were dry), mom wore a plastic bag on her head (hahahaha) and Carter jumped in every puddle. It was memorable for sure!

WE are going back to visit my parents and sister there this coming weekend and then..... in 12 days, i'll be 30! We might go to the beach for my birthday for a relaxing weekend, or have a party. It is still undecided.

i'm excited about my birthday. Its the best day of the year in my opinion. especially with Rick being nearly 12 years older than myself, i will never be in his age bracket. My thirties hold a lot of gifts in store. I will start a family of my own. (rick can help too). I will be moving to Dubai as soon as i finish my degree, get details worked out, and well, sort out my details.... I still have a lot to do, but i finished my proposal the other day, and am patiently waiting for my advisor to read it and meet with me. Hopefully I will move back to the states before my 40s begin, but that will be determined later.

Labor day weekend, Rick and I will travel again, and hopefully will do something fun, but i guess it all depends.
As for now, time to work. I've got a busy few weeks ahead of me, and times not moving any slower. 

13 August 2010

Quit looking at the sun

If you look at the sun long enough you'll go blind. If you touch the stove while its on, you'll get burned,
Yet you continue to do such things and then cry about it? Does anyone really hear your cries?

Heres something your mother may not have shared with you. Its called tough love. For instance, if  i say something in my blog, and it offends you, then QUIT READING. Hurt you once, shame on me, hurt you twice, shame on you. My mother would say, I told you to stop, i have no pity for you, suck it up. If you keep going back to the same place and expect different reactions, you're quite insane. Its like getting drunk, driving your car and getting pulled over, and then doing it again and getting the same results. What did you expect?  Try not to kill anyone will ya? i've lost plenty of friends to both Drunk Driving AND BY drunk Drivers. Dont' get me started on this rant.

When i tell a snake, SNAKE< you're all scaly and slithery, and the snakes gets mad b/c he doesn't want to hear how slimy and creepy he is, he wants to hear You're a fear evoking SNAKE. But the truth it, you can just chop a snakes head off with a shovel, then he's worthless. You tell it the truth, and he mopes away. Hurt. because he apparently didn't realize his traits were so undesirable. So he cries and tells his mother, but everyone laughs and laughs because everyone already knew the truth. Silly snake. you're just a snake. Now go away.

What good do you think you're bringing by staring at the sun? Truth, it seems, is a double edged sword. Truth isn't always pretty. 

QUIT LOOKING AT THE SUN AND YOU WON"T GO BLIND. you were warned  by your mother once to stay away, do it again, SHAME ON YOU. Nobody cares what you have to cry about when you were warned. Look at Icarus. His wings melted because he didn't' listen. We have no pity upon him either. though everyone remembers him. What good have you done so that they will remember you?

04 August 2010

Black like CRACK ( berry )

All I want to say is i'm done traveling across time zones until September. These are the Beeman women. My two sister in laws and my mother in law. They're all quite wonderful people. Among the three children, there are 9 kids and we had a large family photo with my mother and father in law, all the kids and grandkids. It was fun, we color coded by family. I hope we get good results.

I'll go to Virginia Beach this weekend to play soccer. Charlotte next weekend to see my sister and nephews and steve. Then i'll stay home a weekend or two. Then labor day, back to Houston for a long weekend.

People call blackberries CRACKBERRIES because they are addictive. I suppose an iPhone is just as addictive. Its funny to see how many people read my blog from their blackberries. I can monitor where you live and where you look at my blog. I can tell if you are using a computer with Window Operating system, MAC, what web browser you are using. and so on. Even if you are using a BlackBerry or Iphone or a droid. Each one is unique in its browsing detail. I even got an iPad hit from Minnesota!  Maybe my favorite Red Headed statistician who just relocated up there just got an ipad??? hmmm... i think she did!

They always say everything is bigger in Texas.  For 7 months running - Texas is my number one state, meaning, i have more readers in Texas than the rest of the world. then comes North Carolina, and California in a close third.... But Texas by far takes the cake.

I guess everything IS bigger in Texas, and that includes me. Crackberries or not.  I'm quite the popular bird, even though i would rather be a fish..... the mermaid type of course.
Thanks for coming out! I'll be sure to talk about my latest adventures soon.

23 July 2010

Are you blinded by the darkness???

One of my favorite books in the bible is 1 John.
I spent an entire summer dedicated to studying this short book of the bible with a bunch of Christian students and scholars alike.

Today this was inspired in me.
1 John 2 :9-11
9Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. 10Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. 11But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.

How can we be blind by the darkness?
How can we claim to love God but hate man? How can we speak badly about others yet claim to live in the Light??

You can't. No excuse for it. You can't justify it. You can't talk yourself into it.
You may have yourself fooled that what you do is right, but in the end there is One Judge, one Juror, and only one Great Decider.

It's not mine to decide. But can you really read those words and interpret it in a way to justify your hatred, anger and harsh words??? I'd love to hear it if you can. I'd love to hear anyone justify living in the darkness but claiming to walk in the Light.

Its one thing to be imperfect, its another to act pious and above reproach.
And we wonder why the unbelievers call the Christians hypocrites.... 

21 July 2010


In the Summer of 2002, just after college graduation, I flew to Jamaica with a church group from Raleigh, NC to work for a week on a church, do some bible school stuff, and have fellowship. It was an amazing trip that really touched my life in ways I am probably still now realizing. 

I grew up rather well off. I would probably consider my life upper middle class, but what do I know. To this day I have no idea what my father makes for a living, but I do know that I was never in need. I might have wanted things, but that was just my parents doing an excellent job at teaching me values and work ethic and that i can't be handed everything.

I'm supposed to be going to bed right now and rightfully so i should, but i am just now inspired to write, and so I shall. Aside from farm life where the houses had huge yards, nice gardens, and no cable TV, and the one trip i made into Mexico as a kid, I had no idea how the rest of the world lived. We, as Americans, are quite naive as to our socioeconomic status. We have everything in super size, bulk size, and enough for months and months, but yet we live in want. We want more and more. We are plagued by ourselves and our greed. The rest of the world, they want food in their stomachs, a roof over their head, and clothes over their bodies, and maybe will rest assured that they will get the same thing the next day. They count every single blessing and remain positive and optimistic through all trials.

In May of 2002, it was quite a rainy time in Saint Annes Bay, Jamaica. Days and days it rained as we built this fellowship hall for the church.  One of the young women, who had recently had a baby, was living in a tiny home, and i'll describe in detail. It had a double mattress and a single mattress, and just enough room to walk through. That was it. And on top of that, inside the home lived, her mother, her grandmother, her 2 brothers, her 2 nephews, oh, and a new baby probably about 6 months old.

Because of all the rain, the home was absolutely flooded so they had to put everything on top of the beds to keep them dry. The dirt behind their home, where they typically cooked their dinner, was too flooded and wet to eat, and they shared among them, a granola bar that i had in my bag. Trying to get a little nourishment, while thinking of the other. But they were full of so much Joy and Love and Hope and Faith. I think had a typical American been in that position, we would complain and gripe, we would expect our handout. I don't know really. I'm so blessed and fortunate that I was born here in the US, and not in a mostly third world nation.

I never understood why my soccer coach, a former member of the Jamaican National Team always told me, "Sloan, don't go to Jamaica there are much better places to go" At that moment, as my heart broke for this family that was getting by with shelter and clothes and very little food, just then, i realized why he said this.

My life was never the same after that. I go in spurts. I can easily get caught up in being an American and living the Big Life. I have way too many things and I honestly have been trying to give my things away.  When i left Jamaica to come back to the states, I left a large amount of things behind. I kept my favorite worn out clothes, but i left things i knew i didn't need and that i knew would bless someone elses life.
One of my favorite parts of that trip was waking up early every morning, playing my WOW Gospel CD and working in the kitchen with the women that prepared breakfast for us every day. I think it meant a lot to them too, that i wanted to help and just be in their presence. You see, i believe you can't really go to another country and really experience it, until you experience the people. The things that really count. I left that CD with them and often think about the songs, and hope that they are still being blessed by the gifts that God has given them. Such great examples of happy faithful people who have so little but possess so much. I could very well give it all away and walk away and be happy. You just never know, that might just happen one of these days.

And i think its time for me to do it again, at least in spurts. I hesistate to donate to Goodwill. They "sell" their clothes and give you a tax writeoff. I want to give my clothes to someone who really needs them, Who cannot even afford to buy them and who really would allow me to be a blessing to them. Because I was so fortunate to be born on American soil. I realize why the Filipina woman that gave me a bath in Bahrain asked me to bring her back to the US (and she was NOT kidding at all). We really have it so good. Air conditioning in our stores, our public places, stores, malls, bus stations, airports, homes. A land of plenty, even if right now we have less than before, we still certainly have plenty.

Lorraine aka Hope and I made a great connection, and then i lost touch with her. I moved and didn't have her number. Several times i went online to find her, but never succeeded. tonight was different. I found her. And I am thrilled to reconnect.

That's all for tonight. i'm really in trouble now, its way past my bedtime.

Tonight, I was moved by my memories and the realization that I am so incredibly blessed, and i do want to make a difference in the world, even if just to one person. Remembering that by reconnecting is a great start. God uses people to reach others. To remind us of who we really are, and not who the world has told us we are, but the true person that God has made us to be. I need to hold onto this with all my might. To give away the greed and desire to have more and more.... and just be. Its almost time to make that move. Its time to get ready, that is for sure.

Ricky is still in Cali and i'll be joining him soon. Everyone I talked to was so excited to tell me about their day and they are looking forward to my arrival, even planning out our time. I sent them a package that they will receive tomorrow. I absolutely LOVE my new family, they are all so wonderful and I'm very excited to see where God will lead us next. God has been faithful, even when i wasn't. Isn't it time to give back?