Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
‘tis near Halloween.
~Author Unknown

Treat bags are stuff, wearing one my costume, and Chris' truck looks like a ghost ship that has gigantic green pipes in the back of it, so it must be Halloween! I love Halloween. I have accomplished many things this year in preparation for this year's Halloween.

Last night I really enjoyed being an adult on Halloween time. I made Halloween cupcakes and Halloween cocktails to enjoy while we stuffed treat bags. It was a lot a of fun. We counted twice last night so we are sure we have 300 treat bags. Our church estimated at least 100 kids so we are going prepared incase there are even more. We are going at Princess Peach (Me), Princess Daisy (Dani), Luigi (Frankie), Mario (Chris),  Yoshi (Chris' dog Harry), and Birdo (my dog Abby). We took party streamers and made Chris' truck into a ghost ship by using brown streamers and some black in between the brown. We painted trash can green for the pipes like the Mario Bros Games.

We are having our Halloween/Fall celebration at church. We are doing the hayride and then having a carnival like event and then at 7:30 we are doing trunk or treat. Are classroom boggart went great. We had a little girl that was so excited. I love my students. They were excited to see Miss Who come in wearing her Lily/Hermione costume. Mr. Who will be coming in later this afternoon wearing his Snape costume.

Halloween is not a big deal to me this year. Jackjack is still at St. Jude's. Yes he gets to do their trick or treating, but I wish I could be there or him be with me because I got him an awesome Jackjack costume. Last year he was an apple. May next year he can go as Jack from Nightmare Before Christmas.

I'll admit I am looking forward to holding my Jackjack all the time. He will be slightly spoiled come December because when Sissy (that's me!) isn't at work she will be holding her little man. I am already planning his room and what we are doing for Christmas. I get to Facetime him later once he is in his little costume. I can't wait to see that smiling face! Very excited about seeing him!


The above image is VERY important. People do not realize a lot of these things. A lot people think the children are rude and not brought up right and in some cases that's true. Also keep in mind that teens like to trick or treat as well. It's their last right as a kid. Don't you wish you could still dress up and go trick or treating. Just make sure they don't trick you! Stay safe. 

Parents even though your children can be just doing the trunk or treat or treasure treat make sure they still wear reflective clothing and have a bracelet or temporary tattoo with your number. Those places can get crowded and your children can get separated from you. Make sure if you do go regular trick or treating to be cautious still about what houses you visit and neighborhood. Be mindful of Beware of Dog signs, traffic, and the houses that you do go to as well.

I hope everyone has a Happy Halloween! 
Bonne fĂȘte de la Toussaint

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Linen Handkerchief

Just love Alabama weather... Not. One day it's in the 80s and then in the next 3 days it doesn't get out of the 40s barely. Oh well I LOVE the cold weather. I love shivering a whole more than sweating. Plus, the decorations, smells, clothes, and the television.

Hallmark is showing the Christmas movie preview this weekend!!! I am so excited for that. It's more modern movies, but I can handle that. It still Christmas movies. I like older Christmas movies that my mom loved. I've been reading her journals that she kept during Decembers and I have fallen in love somethings she wrote about during her life. If she had of lived people might say we were twins.

My mother had a strong desire for etiquette and old ways to remain. I don't believe my mother nor I will get our wish for that. Manners are a dying art. Emily Post and Amy Vanderbilt are some of my favorite role models. Emily Post I absolutely love. I love the story of her and her husband when she made her debut. I smile at it. I have spent much time here in the last months pouring over her website. The Official Emily Post Website is filled information on etiquette. Trust me I keep a lint roller with me at all times.

Yes I have strict table manners. If a 32 piece table set was before me for a elegant dinner I would know how to use it. I pride myself on that these days. I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated  to Etiquette. I wish people would realize how foolish they look when acting like they have no manners. It's not a pretty sight. Plus, my boss actually told me that I wasn't completely what she was looking for in an employee, but that my interview skills and manners stood out to her. I guess I do intrigue people.

Being around people with manners help a lot too. I cringe when people around me act like they don't have the sense got God gave goose. Sure every now and then and on certain events. I like for there to be some maturity in things. Especially in dressing and carrying yourself. I literally shudder when I see girls that wear jeans that slope down when they sit down. There are ways of fixing that and/or avoiding it.


Monday, October 29, 2012

He did the what? THE MONSTER MASH!!!!




So many of you might not know that I am a goal oriented person. I build small goals to my big goals. Are there bumps in the road? Yep but that's where the fun is in life.

So, you all know I run at least 10 miles a day. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Also three nights out of the week I spend learning to ballroom dance after I get out of class at night. Then I also pole dance session at least once a week and a gym workout at once every two weeks. I like to challenge myself to push myself more and more. Which is why I am also talked to my trainer about gymnastics to limber me up even more.

I love the burn of muscles and the tone sculpted body. What people don't realize is how I multitask to get all of this in. Pole dancing I do while watching my recorded shows from the week. Running I listen to lectures and plan blogs. Gym workout I'm usually reading something while lifting weights or doing push ups. Plus I throw in small workouts throughout my day. I purposely take the stairs when I can. I park far away from the building.

People are constantly asking me how I keep a smile on face, how I have so much energy, and how I find so much time. Well the first one realizes on the last two. I love creating experiences. I look at each problem as a way to grow. Exercise and being active releases endorphins and it will certainly flow through you. As far as to how do I find time. Well I love having things to do. Even if I just have 4 hours at home I love it!

So I encourage everyone to stay active. Find something you want to try or do and go for it! I love gymnastics, dancing, running, and pole dancing, If you have injuries I highly recommend yoga. It will build your core and from there you can the build up the rest.

My Southern Roots are blarin' this week! I love my URBAN COWBOY!!!!!! Why? Because playing Just Dance with him is amazing!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Review: Escaping the Vampire

Desperate for the Immortal Hero



Ask the person in your life or yourself,
If you knew that there was a true hero who could offer you a lasting escape from whatever it is that you're running from- a hero who would walk with you, protect your life, lead you forward, hold you close, and make you strong-wouldn't want him to desperately search for you and rescue you?*

Are you a parent concerned about your daughter obsession with vampires or Twilight? Are you a fan of Twilight and wanting to have a Christian opinion? This book is definitely the answer. It answers many questions that arise with Twilight Saga and being a Christian. It's a great book for a girl that is single and wondering what to look for in everything.

Kimberly Powers, the author of Escaping the Vampire, was wondering why so many girls in her groups were obsessed with Twilight. She did what any good worship leader should do. She put herself in their shoes and not only watch the movies, but the read the books as well. She then did plenty of research for helping girls understand what they need to about vampires.

She explains everything in 3 different units. They are then broken down into chapters. Within in each chapter there are Bible verses, information and moments where she stops writing and tells you to Just Breathe. These moments are her way of getting you to think about what God has for you. It helps you connect not only with what she is saying, but also what God wants you to think about as well.

This first part is called Illusion Shattered. The first part describes how how only God can give what you desire from the vampires. It also talks about how you need God instead of a desire for vampires and the image that they bring. Soul Redeemed is the second part of the book. It talks about what you can do to seek God. Why certain guys are attractive to certain girls. What you are subconsciously looking for in a relationship. And how your relationship with your Heavenly father and earthly  father affects your own romantic relationship. The final part is called Mystery Embraced. This final part of the book is all about living for God. The love that God has for you.

I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5. The only reason it didn't give a complete 5 stars is because I feel like it could have given more Bible verses. Hopefully in the future she can do a whole Bible Study on this subject.

*Escaping the Vampire Preface, pg 9

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Crismon Tide

Happy Alabama Homecoming 2012

Today is the homecoming for the University of Alabama! I was a student here a year ago and I remember how I hated all the noise and people. Now I am part of the noise and crowd of people. I came here last night for the bonfire and pep rally.
Source
Got up at 5 this morning to get our bundled up butts to stake out a good spot to tailgate and to watch the parade. I am in charge of Esme and Ariel while Gene and everyone else set everything up to tailgate and to watch the parade. I am have had the awesome job of keeping up with the gang's kids. Which has been a lot fun. We have danced, sang, face painted, made origami, and I taught them the Alabama cheers. Of course the LSU and Auburn section of our group wasn't up for that hey I do what I can.

Source
The parade this year is suppose to be wild and huge. I'm excited about that! The kids are all excited to watch the floats and get ready for the game. I'm very excited because my guy should be here soon from his retreat and get here just in time for the parade. I know one thing that has made my day is Gene's littlest one, Esme. She is the sweetest little girl and adorable at that. She has clung to me all day. She is just two and is so sweet and polite.

We are finishing out Vampire Week with a book review that I have been promising for two months now tomorrow. Also tomorrow is Bridgitte's baby shower. Which is theme Halloween/Nightmare Before Christmas/Rockstar. Ridge, Gene and I have all been working on it. It will be held at Mrs. Ray's house (Travis' mom's house) and the gang is invited. Bridgitte didn't want a lot of people. She was satisfied with the gang. I really cannot believe that they should be here in 7 weeks!!! I swear it was just like yesterday when it was 7 MONTHS! Now we are down to just 7 weeks. Also Claire's shower is coming up very soon. Maddy, Viv, and Claudette showers are in late November. It's so crazy. It's baby central! I love it.

Sorry today I have baby fever thanks to Esme. Her little, warm chubby cheeks and big blue eyes. Those sweet little hands is what really gets me. The dependency when she is grabbing my hand is what pulled my heart. Which gets me even more ready for Jackjack to come home! But for now I am going to enjoy baby central here in Tuscaloosa! Roll Tide!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Real Life Vampires

People Who Suck the Life Out of You

When our preacher did this sermon he had the most attention I had ever gave someone. I was amazed. I wrote 4 pages of notes and made sure with him that it was ok to write this post because I loved this subject so much. I was completely entranced by his message and what it spoked to me.

Have you ever had someone where you were having a great day and they merely start a conversation and it literally feels like you have been drained of all energy you had? Yep these people are the real life vampires. Best part is? God has it wrote down in His manual of life how to combat them. I was thrilled to hear this, because I do come encounter with these types of people. Whether they mean to or whether they don't.

First of all, some people believe that vampires come from Genesis 4 where God place the marking on Cain. But the biggest thing that God has said dealing with vampires comes from the book of Leviticus.
If blood is still in the meat, the animal's life is still in it. So I give this command to the people of Israel: "Don't eat meat that still has blood in it, because the animal's life is in its blood. Anyone who eats blood must be cut off." - Leviticus 17:14
And also there speculations that Judas was a vampire. The thought process behind that being that he was the one that helped take away the life of Jesus. He betrayed him and helped spill Jesus' blood.

So how do you kill a vampire? Hollywood and history speculation has many variety. And you can views these in a Biblical way.

Garlic for instance smells horrible, and even worse to vampires because they have such a strong sense of smell. Garlic is extremely strong to a normal person, but with a heightened sense of smell it can ward off anything. To the enemy you have the incense of God like in Revelations.
"When he took the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders bowed down before the Lamb. Each one of them had a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God's holy people." - Revelations 5:8
One thing you can do to ward off real life vampires. Is to start your day off with prayer. You can either complain or pray: Whoever or whatever is taking the life out of you. You should pray for rather than complaining. There is very little another can do to help you in situation.

Also silver is another way they say that a vampire can be warded off. Greek Artemis claims to have made holy weapons out of silver. Also this could because it was 30 silver coins that was the cost of Jesus and his clothing.

Stakes are said to piece the heart of a vampire. Heart issues with darkness, depression and anger are usually part of what makes a real life vampire. It means you have to block out that they are trying to bring you down and better their heart. Tell God to bless their heart and help them see their ways. Use God as a stake to help kill their darkness, depression and/or anger. Also remember to show them that there are small blessings all around them and yourself.

A cross is also a way to ward off vampires. This is a symbol we can easily remember when people are trying to bring us down. That we have the most powerful person of all holding us up. He can restore the life that was drained out of you.

Holy water is the water of baptism. We need to remember that we are washed in blood of the Lamb. And in thinking that we need to remind and remember to tell others that God loves them. Help them either find their way back to God or help them with their first journey to the Lord.

Sunlight is the main one (unless they are a Twilight vampire then they are going to sparkle.) Judas also killed himself at the first sunlight as said in Matthew and Acts. He hanged and then his body fell. The one that does the complaining and tries to suck the life out of you is the one that you should stay positive around no matter what. Instead of becoming lethargic.

In the end Jesus the answer for you and for the real life vampires.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Vampire Fears

Vampires have really taken over with the media (Zombies are the talk of reality though.) But as for fantasies it's really about vampires. For instance you can actually buy a wig that looks like Edward Cullen's hair now at Walmart for a costume. To me it honestly seems like Vampires haven taken over. From television shows, books, movies (HELLO Abraham Lincoln a Vampire Slayer and yes I know it's a book too), they have inched  their way into everything including tomorrow's religion post so be sure to check back and no I'm not going to bash Twilight or True Blood.

Today has been interesting for me. For starters, I'm under the weather slightly. I'm slightly cranky and some of my "I actually care" mode is off. Is that a good enough excuse? Well not really, but my medicine hasn't kick in yet. Work has been great with the kids. All of them are talking about Halloween, their Halloween Party, and their costumes.

We have children with all sorts in our program. We treat each child the same, we go to all lengths. We have a child that is allergic to eggs and we have been all over Huntsville and Pinterest coming up with ideas for Halloween (and other holidays) treats that do not involve eggs. We have autism children and diabetic. We go all out for the kids because not only is it our job. We love theses children. We actually spend more hours of the week with the childrens then their parents do. Think about it. We have these children from 7 in the morning and some of them stay until 6 at night! Then they go home eat, get a bath, and go to bed by 9 or 10. So we are all these kids have at time.

This Halloween is a great thing because we are trying to teach not only to face their fears, but to help others face theirs. It's the greatest things to see them helping each other. The day before Halloween we will see a boggart in the classroom. The children have wrote down what their worst fears are and we are going to help them face their fears. It's an interesting concept that my co-workers came up with while watching Harry Potter. I will let you know on Tuesday how it went. For now I must bid you good night. I had class tonight and I honestly haven't had the best of nights.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Vampire Events

So I was actually intrigued when I went looking for Vampire Events in Alabama.... Well I actually found one! I found several all around Alabama, but there was at least one in Alabama.

First let's start with the Alabama Event. This one takes place in Montgomery. Sink your teeth into a thrilling vampire drama back by popular demand as Alabama Dance Theatre presents Dracula a ballet to die for Saturday, October 27th at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 28th at 2:30 p.m. at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Performance tickets are $10-$25. 

Location: Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Montgomery, AL
Phone: 334.241.2590 or 1.800.841.4273
Link: http://www.alabamadancetheatre.com

And the events for other people check out the website called Vampire Freaks. Connect with other people that are really into Vampires and learning about them. Click Here for the website. It's pretty interesting. There a lot of events all across the country but also around the world and that is very interesting. 


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

All Over Everywhere

For Vampire Week part of my personal post will be about Vampires and the rest is my usual.

I did not do the whole Vampire Craze with everyone else. I read Twilight series, The Vampire Diaries, Blue Bloods, and THE SOOKIE STACKHOUSE aka SOUTHERN VAMPIRE SERIES. To me, however, many times I couldn't picture them as vampires but rather just normal and quite honestly I think that's what's wrong with people and vampires now. They can't decipher real and fiction. I personally would rather Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles before reading Twilight again. I did like the Southern Vampire series that sparked True Blood on HBO. However, I love the books but I cannot stand the tv. They added so much that is not in the books.

So that is my vampire rant.

This week has been incredibly hectic and it's only Tuesday. I had a midterm yesterday, not mention normal classes. Also, I was worried about last night's dance class. (Though, it went over without a mess up!) I have to get everything ready for Bridgitte's baby shower which is Sunday in Birmingham. (More on that later) I am also getting ready things ready for Christmas. Any person that organizes know that right is when you get things started for Christmas. I am member of the Christmas Cantata, Christmas Play,  Christmas Nativity, and Christmas Cheerful Carolers. The Christmas Cantata is the where the choirs of the church form together and sing 10 songs that go into each song without stopping. The Christmas Play is the contemporary Christmas play that tells the real meaning of Christmas. The Christmas Nativity is the traditional story of the Mary, Joseph, and the wise men and shepherds. The Christmas Cheerful Carolers is actually my idea and my main project. The kids, teens, and adults are going to make all types of gift baskets, donations baskets, and we are going to bring Christmas Cheer to hospitals, retirement homes, and centers.

Not to mention I have things to do with Jackjack getting to come home for Christmas! Then there are 4 other baby showers that I am sooooooooo excited about to see! Then getting ready for finals at school. Plus dance practice, getting things ready for the week of Thanksgiving because my grandmother from Paris is coming. Plus, getting Christmas shopping done and out of the way (I have started on that though!) Plus, I have tickets to go see Jim Brickman's holiday special. And I snagged tickets to go on the train ride for...... THE POLAR EXPRESS!!!!! Wearing pajamas in public and drinking hot chocolate and meeting Santa?!?!?! HELLO!!! TOTALLY ME!!!! Plus I am going to go Dickens Christmas events, and tree lightings. Of course I'm also preparing for December 2013 when I will be in Disney World. So I am all over the place right now.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Vampire Beauty.... Or Ugly?


Welcome to Vampire Week here on Decoding Odette.... Enjoy!



We all know that Stephanie Meyer turn vampires into something pretty. However, vampire features are not always gorgeous. Step back and thinks for a second would you really like having vampire beauty flaws? Not really once you think of them in a daily concept it's not a pretty picture.

Do you really like having big dark circles under eyes? Nope. So make sure to use eye make-up remover before going to bed to wash off mascara and eyeliner. Getting plenty of rest can also help from getting the look of not sleeping for years. Also getting a good vitamin supplement will help reduce that as well. Because a stated fact is now coming full circle that dark circles under eyes add to your age worse than wrinkles and grey hair. Alcohol can also cause dark circles for lack of nutrients and lack of sleep. Allergies play a role in dark circles under your eyes. Eating well is another way to improve discoloration around the eyes. Nasal congestion can also cause dark circles to appear. Examine your smoking habit and decide to quit. Smoking causes vascular (blood vessel) problems that can not only threaten your life, but also make your blood vessels appear more prominent and bluer.

Pale skin is ok. But seriously too pale is just gross. I do not tan well at all, therefore, I am quite pasty white. However, I do not hide from the sun. I love a nice subtle glow. I also don't try to darken my face with dark blush because that makes your face look boney. Last thing you want a beauty day is to make your face look sunken. Embrace the sun a smidgen. SPF 15 is now in most really good beauty products. So stop lurking in the shadows. I promise you won't turn into dust. Also add some bronzing and shimmer to your face. (Twilight isn't completely bad, shimmering is a good thing.)

Do not be so vile, just smile. Honestly, smiling actually improves your mood. A study in psychology showed students that watched a funny video clip laughed and thought the clip was a lot more hilarious with a pin in their mouth sideways than the students that didn't have an object forcing them to smile. It's a reflex in our body (except people with autism and other special needs) to smile when we are smiled at by someone. I love that in humans. So smile, it increases your face value. I hate people who don't smile in their pictures trying to look sexy or whatever. You look stupid and mean.

Thirsty? Blood hungry? You can solve that gleam in your eye quite easily. Proven fact that people who eat are much more content than people who haven't ate. So please on behalf of the civilized world that has to deal with you eat. And for those of you thinking the world is just a rotten cruel place. Remember we aren't here for happiness. We are here to praise God and for Him to bring us back home. So, smile, complain less, and give God the glory. Things can always be worse and if you think they can't message me. I'll give you a whole set of problems you haven't thought of just yet. 


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Halloween Reviews!

I loved Halloween as child. I begged every year to be a witch, but they always wanted me to be something else. I hated the year I was a stupid butterfly! Omg I took ballet lessons until I was 16 and when I was six year old I hated wearing a leotard that didn't have a little skirt to it. So I hated the leotard they put me and then to make matters worse they stuck these big ugly pale pink, glittery wings on me and then this felt thing over my front that had glitter on it. I hated it. Back then I wasn't a big fan of dogs so trick or treating meant my big brothers go to carry me. One house that year they put me down once we got to the porch and the crazy lady let her dog just run right at us. Well I took off running. Daddy and all of my brothers swear those wing really did work because they had never seen me run so fast before that night.

I thought I would share with you a humorous story of my childhood because I have yet to live that down even though we are in a different country and it's been 17 years. (Ok ouch that makes me feel old.) Anyhow, I'm going to share with you three things for Halloween. One is a movie that I swear I watch even when it's not Halloween. I've been watching this since I was able to watch movies. Another one is a movie as well, but I only watch it at Halloween. Finally, I'm going to share with you a book I just finished reading this morning.

First, the movie that for many years was my ABSOLUTE favorite movie. This was before Harry Potter came along. When I sat down to write this post I came across a pin on Pinterest that caused anguish for me. I cannot pick between Harry Potter and... The Worst Witch. However, not the HBO television series. The 1986 television movie that Tim Curry, Fairuza Balk, Liz May Brice, Charlotte Rae, and Diana Rigg, all had amazing roles in the movie. The movie is based on the book The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy. Mildred Hubble is a clumsy, unsure of herself, witch growing up in a school where the other students' families has all been witches. She gets ridiculed by a lot of the students because it seems like everything she does is wrong and sometimes it's because of sabotage by her classmates. I highly recommend watching it. I used to watch this movie year round and especially when it was on the Disney Channel until they stopped airing it.

The second movie is one I am almost positive that VERY few people have heard of because it's so rare. Chris and his ex girlfriend are the first people I have ever come in contact with that not only have heard of this movie but have it as well. (Of course Chris' ex also loved the Worst Witch and it used to be her favorite movie.) The Halloween That Almost Wasn't has been a favorite of mine and theirs for years! I had no idea that there were other people in the world (let alone people I talk to on daily basis) that knew about this movie. It was also a television movie but this is one is slightly older. Dating all the way back to 1979. It too also played on the Disney Channel, but Disney likes to have things over hyped these days. When it was released to VHS it was retitled The Night Dracula Saved the World. The main witch that is suppose to fly across the moon refuses to because she thinks he takes all the credit for Halloween. It is a great movie that has Judd Hirsch, Mariette Hartly, Henry Gibson, Jack Riley, and John Schuck all in it. 

My last review is a book I could not put down. It has actually been turned into a series since I received it as a gift a little less than 10 years ago. I know I'm horrible. Normally I'm all about a book, but something held me back from reading this. Now I see why the Lord wanted me to read this book at this point in my life. In Boo by Rene Gutteridge, a small town in Indiana has been living off the image a local novelist has given their town. Skary, Indiana has been boasting for 16 years that they have the famous Wolfe Boone living in their small town. However, when he decided to give up writing horror stories and get saved the town goes into complete shock. People start judging "Boo" as they call him. Did he get saved to throw them and to give them some more to talk about? Did he do it to get closer to them to find out dark secrets? Or did he do it to win the heart of the Sheriff's daughter? Or is he really feeling the Lord speak to him? I highly recommend this book. I am going to finish the series. I am heading to Lifeway on Tuesday to complete my series of it.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Patience

Honking horns, screaming kids, squealing tires, huffing, grumbling, angry screams, these things can all be heard when people are impatient. People no longer want to wait for hardly anything and in some cases I am guilty of this too. Bigger things I'm patient about; smaller things not so much all the time.

God likes to see how much you truly believe in Him. My patience is His favorite thing to test me on. For instance I waited 22 years for a first kiss and it was magical. I'm still waiting for marriage to have sex. However, there is this small matter called I-do-not-want-to-fix-my-own-food-so-I-will-go-to-Burger-King. Now this is where my patience is really tested. I guess I think if I'm not cooking it waiting 15-25 is the biggest slap in the face. Like God looking down at me and smiling "Learn my child, you were too lazy to fix food now you are in this predicament." (Plus don't even start with me about when they get my order wrong.)
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. - Romans 8:25
Waiting patiently for food that you can't see but smell is one the hardest things to do (plus food that could still be wrong which means more waiting). God wants you to realize that all of us have battles we are struggling with even during our jobs. We all can face that. I have to remind myself that most of these are high school kids who are dealing with coworkers not showing up, their boss is mad at the coworkers not showing up for work and taking it out on the ones that did show up, plus these kids have family, friends and school to think about. Why should I be another problem to their day? Yeah I want my food right but having a bad attitude is not going to help.

It's funny to me I hear a lot people say "Well I'm not coming to this place again." Many times the workers don't care if a certain customer comes back especially if they are a national chain. They are just trying to do their jobs. A lot of the time we forget we were once in their position. We were new, young, and just desperate to get a job to make a tiny bit of money. It's better than a lot of people my age that think they shouldn't work and still should get paid.
Don't become angry quickly because getting angry is foolish. - Ecclesiastes 7:9
I work on this a lot outside the fast food places as well. People who pester me make my patience drop all the time. Especially when it's them that are complaining about something that isn't happening now. That might even be worse than the fast food places. The reason why it's worse? Because I want to preach to them about learning patience, but at the same time I have probably lost my patience by then.
Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. - Philippians 4:6
People forget that we aren't in control of our lives. God chooses the courses for us to go through to prove that we are for Him. That's why you go to Him. He wants to know you aren't stubborn and arrogant that you aren't all about you.
Because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience. Let your patience show itself perfectly in what you do. Then you will be perfect and complete and will have everything you need. - James 1:3-4
God and I have had many discussions about my patience. What did I come up with? I need to find more patience, but not only that I also need to learn to use that time I'm waiting wisely and show God that I am all about him. I like that idea. God has given me so many blessings why not be all about Him?
God will strengthen you with his own great power so that you will not give up when troubles come, but you will be patient. - Colossians 1:11

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mrs. Who..

So you all know mostly about my very personal life. Which is what I wanted from this blog was to have an outlet for the things I love and for people to gain from my mistakes or victories or reviews.

I read back over my blogs. I realize you know very little about my life as a teacher. Let me point out I love my job. Not for the money, but for my patience tolerance grows and my love for children grow. I teach arts and crafts to toddlers and preschool children.

I know I have told this story before on my blog, but many people especially my family and friends that don't live in Huntsville don't realize how much I love this story and it's outcome. The children can either call us Ms. (Teacher's First Name) or Ms. (Teacher's Last Name). It's the teacher's preference. I'm the exception. The children couldn't pronouce my first name nor could they grasp my last name. Every single time they would try and say one of my names to the other teachers, the teacher's response would be "Ms. Who?" It stuck. The kids love it because my room was already decorated in owls so it fit me.

Today I'm going to do a reflection on teaching and I am doing this after my classes and during my lunch break:

This day would have been better if it wasn't clearing up from raining last night. Also during the night there were thunderstorms and many of the kids were slightly cranky from lack of sleep.

I think I need to know more about how to help the children relax. That includes me being more relaxed as well so that I can help them.

One new thing I think I'll try this week is playing music while the children have free time during my class. This is where they get to draw, paint, mold, sculpted, etc whatever they want to and they need to be creative with it.

The highlight of this week was yesterday when they got to put their feet in white paint and make "ghosts" to make Halloween decoration. 

The observations this week made me think more about teaching children manners while they are in my class. A craft that teachings manners is on my list to look and try so that the kids might have a reminder of manners at home.

I think my favorite creative activity this year was when I did the food craft with the children in the summer. We took Cool whip added blue and green food coloring, topped a rice cake with the colored cool whip and added Goldfish to the top. I also had Whales and Swedish fish as well. They loved it and I loved it as well.

One area where my teaching is changing is I am becoming more relaxed if things don't go according to plan. I realized some things are out of my control. For instance, I cannot help it when there are only 4 in a classroom because everyone else is on vacation or sick. I had to realize those children couldn't just receive a free day they needed structure too.

One area where my teaching needs to change is where I give in a lot. I want them to learn, but I also want them to be creative. So I give into the plea for the free play day request. I really need to toughen up about that.

I just don't understand why we cannot get more feedback from parents. One teacher said it was because we were doing everything perfect. I highly doubt we are perfect.

I loved my job this week when our visitor Mr. Chris stopped by and had all the kids attention with his art that he did really quickly. Mr. Chris is a favorite of theirs because he "soo funny." 

I hated my job this week when I had a headache but it was completely my fault because I had not made coffee nor stopped for coffee that morning.

One thing I can try to make better next week is keeping the children's energy at bay during my time because it's getting so close to Halloween. Halloween means costumes, candies, and parties. And all of those things mean kids with high energy levels. 

The funniest thing I heard a child say this week was when one of the children asked the little quiet girl that sits in front of me during Preschool hour what the magic word was and she goes "Leviosa." It was all I could do not to hug her!!!!

The family member I feel most comfortable with is Bridgitte.

And I think the reason for that is she hates judging people based on what they do for enjoyment. She bases judgement on how they treat people and her.

The family member I feel least comfortable with is Bridgitte's brother, Josh.

And I think the reason for that is he works for the FBI. I feel like I'm completely exposed to him.

The biggest gains in learning have been made by realizing that a lot of things aren't how I expected them to be.

And I think that this is because it's how God intended it to be.

I'm working on a bad habit of forgetting that the children don't know what I know. The first week of teaching I was amazed that mixing colors was so incredible to them.

Has my attitude about teaching changed this year? Why? Yes it has. Because I love it. I was ok with it to begin with but I love the rewarding smiles and sparkles not to mention the hugs and cards that I receive. 

What have I done lately to spark the children's imagination and creativity? Let them be themselves and show them my actual advance art from today's work all the way back to my high school year and some of my preschool work. 

One quote that I like to keep in mind is Keep calm and pretend this is on the lesson plan. Not really. A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, and touches a heart.

Dealing with parents that don't care is the most difficult thing I had to face recently because I couldn't grasp the concept that a parent just signs a form and doesn't even read it. 

My teaching style has been most influenced by Montessori.

In thinking more about health, safety, and nutrition, I believe I would like to put more nutrition and health into the curriculum because I do a lot of safety things.

If I were going to advise a new teacher, the most helpful piece of advice would be don't get hung up on state boards and things like that. Teach!

I've been trying to facilitate friendships among the children by changing up where they sit. Sometimes I have them sit by color of shirt, name, height, favorite color, etc. Once they are seated they are not allowed to change.

I really need to start incorporating other subjects like math, science, and history in their art.

I used to rely on my lessons plans but now I let the week take me wherever because yes they need structure but they also need to let creativity take them where they need to be.

A child who has helped me learn the most is all of them. I learned I need to relax and enjoy the simple things a lot more.

The observation this week made me think more about what else I need to add to my lessons.

I think my favorite creative activity this year was when we let them go outside and draw and paint what they saw.

The best thing I learned by observing is that kids mimic adults more and more. They really pay attention to adult even when you would swear that they aren't.

I still don't understand why parents don't get more involved with their children's lives and what they have to say.

One mistake I used to make that I don't make any longer is not having extra shoes and clothing at work. You never know who will come in, when a child will throw up on you, when you will have a child cry on you and snot and tears do not look good on a blouse for your date after work.

When next year starts, one thing I will do more of is encourage parents to help out and be apart of our day.

When next year starts, on thing I won't do is forget to be strict on the first day.

One way I can help my children feel more competent is encourage, compliment and give good, thoughtful constructive criticism. 

Something I really enjoy that I could share with my class is my love for vintage. History! 

When children have difficulty sharing I come up with different ways of teaching how to share. I come across this problem a lot with markers, crayons, etc. There are many different ways of approaching this problem. My usual go-to is the Trader. They want the pink crayon yet they have a death grip on the purple crayon and they have to trade. 

That's my reflection on teaching. I love my job. I don't want to trade it though. Once I get my teaching degree we will see where that takes me. Of course God may have a different idea for me. I just leave everything in His hands and see what is is in store for me.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Good Evening

I want to take the time to let my fellow Alabamians know that there are some spooktaculer things happening in Birmingham during the rest of the month. (I'm sure even more after that with the holiday season now upon on us.) So let me begin!


REMEMBRANCE: A Group Exhibition Celebrating Alabama’s 10th Day of the Dead Festival

Presented by Art Folk Gallery at Art Folk Gallery
Young and Vann Building
1731 First Avenue North
Birmingham , AL 35203
(205)716-1665
October 6-October 26, 2012
Admission Info: Free Entry
Times:
W-F noon-4:30 Sat. 11-2 or by appointment
Individual Dates & Times:
Oct 17, 2012 at 12:00 pm (Wed) - Duration 4:30hrs
Oct 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm (Thu) - Duration 4:30hrs
Oct 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm (Fri) - Duration 4:30hrs
Oct 20, 2012 at 11:00 am (Sat) - Duration 3:00hrs
Oct 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm (Wed) - Duration 4:30hrs
Oct 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm (Thu) - Duration 4:30hrs
Oct 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm (Fri) - Duration 4:30hrs

There will be inspired works for the Day of the Dead by local artists which will be a sold to help benefit Alabama's Day of the Dead Festival which will be November 2!

There will be skull masks that have be designed by local artists and festival volunteers will be on display and will be up for sale as well.

Pumpkin Carving Party

Join us for a pumpkin carving party. Let your creativity run wild as you create your very own Jack-O-Lantern. You may either bring your own and carve it for free, or purchase one from Ruffner (price depends on size). You are free to take your pumpkin home with you, or leave it at Ruffner to display for Faces in the Forest.

Ruffner Mountain Nature Center

1214 81st Street South
Birmingham, AL 35206
Admission Info: FREE

Times: 3:00 pm (Thu) - Duration 2:00hrs

Individual Dates & Times: Oct 25, 2012

Phone: 205-833-8264

Parking: Ample secure parking with ADA accessibility is available at the Visitor Center and Mountainside Pavilion area. A small gravel parking lot is available in the Irondale area, off Ruffner Road.

Faces in the Forest

Visit Ruffner for a truly spooktacular evening. Walk along the forest trail with only the guidance from glowing Jack-O-Lanterns to lead the way. They will be giving away hot chocolate. Costumes encouraged. Fun for the whole family. Please arrive within the thirty minute time frame you selected when purchasing your tickets on the website.  

$5/ $7 (non-member)
*These prices reflect a $1 discount for reserving your spot online. Please note that tickets might not be available at the door on the days of the event if event is sold out. They strongly recommend purchasing your tickets online to guarantee a spot and save money. Children under 4 are free.

Times:
Please arrive within the thirty minute time frame you selected on their website when purchasing your tickets.

Individual Dates & Times:
Oct 25, 2012 at 6:30 pm (Thu) - Duration 2:00hrs
Oct 26, 2012 at 6:30 pm (Fri) - Duration 2:00hrs

Spooky Tales on the Spooky Trail

A Halloween event not to be missed! Join for a progressively scary program that begins in the Treehouse for preschoolers and continues to the amphitheater and beyond to the spooky trail. Go as far as you dare! Fun for everyone!

Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest
1221 Montgomery Highway
Vestavia Hills, AL 35216
Admission Info: FREE
Times: 6:30 pm Duration 1:30hrs
Individual Dates & Times:
Oct 26, 2012 (Fri)
Phone: 205-978-0158


Always Aware...

Yes it's breast cancer month.... The National Football League is covered in pink on Sunday and Monday nights during this month including the refs whistles. So I'm putting a pink ribbon here:


There is my awareness for breast cancer. No I'm not being rude about it, but Breast cancer overpowers the rest of the cancers not to mention there are other things to be aware of this month. I have had a friend who suffered breast cancer so I know it's important. Here are some other causes to be aware of in October:

Pregnancy Loss and Infant Loss Awareness Month
Clergy Appreciation Month
National Arts & Humanities Month
Domestic Violence Awareness Month
National Cyber Security Awareness Month
National Bullying Prevention Month

There are others but this is just to realize that there are more. For instance Autism, Homelessness, and Down Syndrome are suppose to be brought aware during the month of October.



I think people need to realize that yes Breast Cancer is important but so are other cancers and other causes. I loved South Carolina. 1) They almost had LSU beaten and still gave them a run for their money. 2) They had uniforms that was dedication for the Fallen Soldiers instead of Breast Cancer Awareness. 3) I love their coach when he throws his visor because back when he used to coach Florida everyone learned his ways so you just know that visor is about to be thrown.

Side note: I'm working on the holiday blogs for you. We are going to be looking at Advent toward the end of November where you light candles in a wreath. But before that is Halloween with Vampire and Zombie weeks. :) 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

This Girl Is Happy!


Are you excited about anything?
Friday!!!

Do you enjoy life?
Oh yeah!

Do you tend to make things complicated?
Not really, but things that are suppose to be easy to understand I make them hard on myself.

What's on your mind right now?
Debating on if I should sign on Facebook or not and my midterm tomorrow.

Do you think you'll be married in 10 years?
I have a feeling I will be.

Have you ever worn your best friend's clothes?
Yes here lately a lot.

Anything exciting tomorrow?
Erm I have a midterm and church meeting then going with some friends to get a milkshake!

Are you having a good day today?
Oh yeah! Today has been great

When do you go to sleep?
Around 2 or 3.

What color underwear do you have on?
Hot pink

Do you consider yourself tan?
Lawdy no

When was the last time you took a shower?
This afternoon at work.

Could you go out in public looking like you do now?
I just came in from the public.

What DVD is in your DVD player?
Um in my laptop is Designing Women Season 1 Disc 1 and in my portable DVD player is Halloweentown.

Last person who got mad at you? Why?
Constance. I made her leave and get her own place.

Favorite person to hang out with?
Mary Ann or Hannah or Chris. Lol

Look out the window what do you see?
Lol the reflection of my floating pumpkin lanterns

What are your nicknames?
Ode, Odie, Dette, Snowflake, Lily, Mrs. Who and Doll

Last time you went to the mall?
Sunday

What kind of music do you like?
Oldies, Swing, pop, country, dance, electronic, rock, jazz, and some hip-hop

What color shirt are you wearing?
Green

Last thing you purchased?
Um getting my eyebrows waxed

Last person you hugged?
Mary Ann

Plans for tonight?
I just got back from my plans tonight.

Do people ever spell/say your name wrong?
Um it's happened before, lol.

Are you watching TV?
Nope. Rarely turn my tv to watch tv that's actually on. Tivo and movies are loves though.

Where would you like to live?
I like where I'm living.

Last time you spent the night at someone's house?
Well on Saturday night I spent the night at my brother in-law's (stepsister) house in Paris when we were there for the funeral.

When was the last time you were extremely disappointed/really mad?
Slightly mad today, yesterday, and was furious last Tuesday

Have you ever made someone so mad that they broke something?
Yup

Have you done anything illegal?
Well I was drinking at 12 but that was in Paris and it's legal there so no.

Its 4 in the morning, your phone rings who do you expect it to be?
A ghost because I do not have a phone but if I did I would have a nice long list of people it could be.

How old will you be in 5 years?
28. Wow... Anyhow....

Have you ever kissed someone who's name starts with a T?
Nope only a C :)

Do you have an older brother?
Oh yeah

Do you think you will be in a relationship 3 months from now?
Yep.

How is your hair?
Really good. It's really shining tonight.

Do you care if people hate you for no reason?
It makes me ponder but I realize I can't make everyone lol me and they are entitled to their likes and dislikes.

Your current relationship status?
Completely taken

What was the highlight of your week?
Tonight!

Simple Things

I have a lot going on, but I have center in my life. God. At times it may seem like I have a different center, but I will knock whatever is trying obstruct my view of God out of my way. Is it easy? No, not always, but God is the one who gives me peace.

Jackjack is doing great. He is starting to pick back up some energy. He's slightly confused that his mom hasn't come to see him. That has me slightly worried. Last week she committed suicide for those of you who don't know. My stepmom was found dead in a hotel not far from the hospital where my one year old brother is fighting cancer. I have been devastated, angry, and confused. How could she take her own life knowing she had sons all under the age of 13 and daughter of 22 with a baby on the way? Everyone keeps saying she hated the responsibility of being a mom. It burns me up. How can you be that selfish? Was it really to just get attention? These questions may never be answered and I accept that. I'm mature enough to accept that.

Work is fabulous. I love going to work. I enjoy the conversations I hear between small children. It makes me realize how my problems really aren't that big. It brings simplicity to my life. I love the many cards I get. The situation of when Mrs. Who's (that's me) boyfriend comes in and makes his wallet catch on fire (he has a joke wallet) and the kids just love him. And Mr. Chris just loves them. We are doing all sorts of fall arts and crafts. I also do artsy food on Friday and they love that!

Mr. Chris? Well he is doing just fine. We did run into a slight problem yesterday. He got to thinking about his past and how he still treats a certain friend. It really had him down. Then our date was cut short because he had a slight stomach bug. We worked on both problems and he is back to being his normal self. We have really enjoyed our new finds of records We love the songs "Do What Lovers Do" by The Channels, "Stay" by the Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, and "Play a Love Song" by The Jaguars. The last one we have danced to in his living room with the lights dimmed and drinking wine and the fire crackling. 




Me? Well I'm enjoying life. I've decorated for fall and Halloween. I'm loving this cold weather! It makes me just feel like I've been cooped up in a hole all summer and I pretty much have been for a while. I'm on my porch as much as I can be now. I love talking and hanging out with all of my friends too. I have friends that vary with their personalities. I love it though. Some friends I get to see and others I don't but will get to see soon. 

For now though, I'm heading to the salon to get my eyebrows waxed. Enjoy your Tuesday night, or whatever night you are reading this on.

****PAUSE MUSIC BELOW IF YOU ARE READING THIS ON A DESKTOP OR LAPTOP****




Monday, October 15, 2012

Exercise from Your Bed... What?

Yep you read it right! Those mornings when you really don't want to get out of bed? Don't. Take a few minutes to help tone up your body.

These exercises are good for people not used to working out or don't have a lot of mobility.

First take your pillow (yeah I said you could stay in the bed I didn't say you were going to be comfortable) and place it on your lower back. It will give lift to help you get more impact on this stomach exercise. Place your hands beside you with your palms on your bed. Lift your feet together (ankles touching) and slowly lift your legs. Keep your stomach muscles tight and take a deep breath in. Continuing to breathe (most people forget to keep breathing), slowly bring your legs apart. Slowly count to 5. Slowly bring your legs together, and then slowly bring them down. Begin 5 and every day after that add one to each time you do the exercise.

Take the pillow out from under you and lay flat on your bed. The twisting in this exercise is great for getting rid of love handles. Place your arms straight out about shoulder length. Roll your head to the right but keep your shoulders and arms flat on the bed. Also while doing that bring your right knee to your chest. Take a deep breath in as your tighten up your stomach muscles. Breathe out as you roll your right knee and to the floor on your left side. You should feel a twist. Do not put too much so don't stretch until it hurts. If you can't reach the floor just go as far as you can. Let your breath out as your roll back slowly into your original position returning your knee and leg too. Take 5 deep breaths and repeat the process starting with twisting your head to the left. Do this exercise on both sides 5 times and increase as when it starts to become easier.

Take two pillows and stack them at the end of your bed. Laying flat on the bed with your feet elevated by the pillows. Over your chest cross your arms. Take a deep breathe in as you pull your stomach in towards your back. Slowly release your breathe as you lift your upper body towards your feet. It does not matter how far you come up toward your feet just as long as it burns. While you are laying back down again don't forget to breathe in. Take a deep breathe and the repeat. Do this exercise 5 times and increase each day.

Lie on your stomach with palms flat on the bed and next to your shoulders. Straighten your arms fully to lift your torso up. Hold for 30 seconds before going back to the starting position. This exercise is quite similar to push-ups. Do this exercise 10 times.

Lie with your back touching the bed, with your knees bent; feet flat on the bed and arms on your side. Tighten your buttocks and slowly raise your hips towards the ceiling until it’s in line with your thighs. Afterwards, slowly lower your hips back once more to the starting position. Do this exercise 15 times.

I hope this helps you begin to workout. You have to start somewhere exercising, why not your bed? Remember just because you are in bed does not mean you don't need to stay hydrated.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Review: Kiki's Delivery Service

I have always loved Halloween! When I was little every year for Halloween I wanted to be a witch. I never cared for being a princess or an angel. However, there was the year I went as Sindell from Mortal Kombat and I was in the 4th grade. I have always loved magic.

Kiki's Delivery Service was one of my favorites growing up. Daddy bought by accident for me. My mother and her sister (also my first stepmom) had taped the 80s television series of Little Women. It was a Japanese company that had produce the series and daddy picked Kiki's Delivery Service thinking it was part of the series, but it wasn't. (By the way this is how my manga and anime obsession started.)

I love this movie so much that as an adult I had to buy it on DVD. Kristen Dunst is the voice of the main character, Kiki. She is a witch and she has to leave her home and learn to have witches' skills. Her cat, Jiji, joins her on the adventure. She discovers that she only really knows how to fly and even that she cannot do well. She creates a delivery business with a friend who gives her shelter.

Kiki is lost in a large city and gets discouraged by some local teens her own age. However, this one boy, Tombo, finds her and her ability to fly interesting. He loves to fly and is trying to build a device with will allow him to fly. However, caught up in trying to make everyone else happy, Kiki losing her ability to fly and talk to her cat Jiji. Through a friend named Ursula she discovered  that she needs to remember to look inside herself and not what's on the outside and not to depend on others.

I will not spoil the ending for those of you who have never seen this movie. I love it and it will always be a favorite in my heart. I also love the credits song. Sydney Forest sings I'm Gonna Fly which is a really great song about pushing yourself.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

What the Future Holds?

I love dreaming about the future. Everyone talks about my busy schedule. God and I work together on my schedule. I pray to him about my schedule all the time. I go to God with everything. I will be worrying about something that I shouldn't be and I stop myself tell God that I need him.

The thing is I also love the present. I look forward to everyday. I have sorrows. Every person does, but things are different when you realize just how awesome it is to be alive. I have so many young teenagers tell me that they don't make anyone's day. Sometimes that problem lies within ourselves. Even if you don't feel like it smile and help someone else out. It will put a smile on your face and theirs too hopefully.

I try to be an upbeat person, but there are those who criticize me for that because "nobody can be that happy." I break down, but I quickly remember as I look around at what else God has given me. I'm wearing clothes, eating food, spending time with my friends, able to read my favorite books, receiving a higher education, breathing, living in a house, cherishing my family, and serving my Lord without prosecution. If those aren't blessings you need to check yourself and your priorities. If those aren't your priorities then that's why you feel like you aren't worth something.

Every month I take two days to myself. One of those I clean my house and reorganize everything. Things are put back in proper places and my house shines and smells incredible. The other day is for me. I start out by spending a whole hour or two reading the Bible. I proceed to get a bath. I go all out for a bath with bubbles, salt, fizzes, confetti, candles, special soaps and sponges. I put my towels in the dryer and fix the portable DVD player with a movie. Normally I take a glass of wine with me and just relax and enjoy the bath and the movie. These bathes aren't like my detox bathes ones a week. I let my hair go for the day and buff and clean my nails and toe nails.

Those are the days I love. Those moments when all I think about are me. I'm not a selfish person except those days. Those two days are it for me during each month. It's a chance to really think about everything but not HAVE to think about anything if I don't want to think about it.

So with that being said God and I have special surprise in honor of Halloween October 22 - 28 will be Vampire week and October 29- November 4 will be Zombie Week here on Decoding Odette. Yes, even the religious posts will be on those subjects. You can thank my preacher for that. :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

So Long Insecurity

I know on religious post there was suppose to be more interviews but that's going to be surprise Friday religious posts. I have them all finished and I was going to do them week by week but that would get boring I'm afraid. So I'm just going to post them randomly.

So hello to today's topic: Insecurity.

Insecurity literally affects everyone. No matter who you think is the most confident person you know, somewhere there is an insecurity that they are struggling with inside themselves. In our world it's very hard not to be overcome with insecurities about everything.

I'm not going to lie. I have insecurities of my own as well. I have, however, learned how to deal with the creepy, dark shadow that nags me telling me that I not enough. When life’s uncertainties come crawling out of the shadows there is a way to face them with the confidence that everything will turn out alright. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about things that come up because of our bad decisions or willingness to do what is wrong. These things have consequences that often we cannot escape.

Insecurity WILL NOT help you.
Insecurity and humility ARE NOT the same thing.
Insecurity is birthed from unbelief. - Beth Moore
S = Safe from yourself: When we’re insecure, our mind is twisted in on itself. We’re self focused. Thus, we believe others are focusing on us. However, the more secure we are, the less time we spend thinking about our issues, our words, our actions. We are free to just be. Some argue that secure people are prideful. Beth argues, and I agree, insecurity is prideful. Just look at those who suffer from narcissism. They are the MOST insecure AND prideful people you will ever meet. (If you’ve never met someone who believes they hung the moon, count your blessings.)

E = entitled to the truth: Secure people see the truth of their actions and avoid actions and things that are not fulfill. Think about someone who is grappling with an addiction. The person is seeking freedom (likely from themselves or a situation) so they use a substance. For the moment it works. However, over time their mind becomes desensitized. They need more, use more. And here is a lovely nugget: Perfectionism is insecurity in an art form. If you are secure, you don’t have to reach outside yourself for an escape.

C = clothed with intentions: A secure person DECIDES to act and be secure. They decide to step away from a mindset that says they cannot and step toward a mindset that says they can. They suffer the same blows we all do, but they CHOOSE to stand tall and not double over. Don't just fake it. Be intentional.

U = upended by grace: Grace takes up most (if not all) of the space in a secure person. Whether in Greek or Hebrew, the word used for forgiveness is grace. People who are secure forgive with ease and don’t get offended by every slight. My own two cents about forgiveness: Forgiving someone does not mean you forget the slight. NOPE. You must remember the event, because the lesson is in the event. You forgive because it releases you from rage, anger, depression, etc. These emotions steal your joy and life.

R = rebounded by love: Children who know they are loved by their parents handle teasing better. They KNOW they are loved and precious. When we feel love, we feel secure. Love is the nemesis of ill intentions and ill words. Keep in mind, humans are fickle, which means their love can be fickle.

E = Exceptional in life: A secure person stands out in a crowd. They are the exception to the rule. “Everyone was mean to me, except . . . ” Everyone struggles with that issue, well . . . except . . .”

 (Source)

These are principles shown by Beth Moore. Her book, So Long Insecurity, You've Been a Bad Friend to Us, goes further into discussion about insecurity. It's a great book and what is so amazing to me is there have been women that I know at some of her meeting about this book that I never dreamt would have insecurities. I even had one person get in my car while I was reading this book and pick it up and their eyes bugged out and said, "You have insecurities?" I really do. I'm human, but I combat the uneasiness with God.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. - Philippians 4:6-9
There are sometimes other bad reasons for feeling insecure because you are doing things you shouldn't and you know you shouldn't be. That insecurity is there along with guilt for a reason. So don't think you can get over doing the wrong thing and use these things to get over guilt and insecurity with doing that. The couple that has sex before marriage and is scared they aren't enough for each other? There is a reason for the insecurity and guilt that they feel afterwards. What if I wasn't enough? Don't put yourself in that situation especially when there are other consequences with that as well. If you are feeling that and you find out you have a disease or if you get pregnant than you have almost have to live with that feeling.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. - 1 Corinthians 10:13
That verse is there to tell you that no matter how much someone tries to seduce there is a way to escape them. It might not be what you want to do. I didn't want to hurt his feelings. Or, She would have left me if I didn't. If they really loved you it wouldn't be a big deal. Besides God will be there if they do walk out. If they walk or get mad, let them. I find it repulsive for a person in a relationship to even suggest making a person give up their innocence just for fun for them. Especially when you know they are against. Even if they say yes, tell them no and be respectful to them.
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. - Matthew 6:25-34
Worrying and being insecure won't help you in the long run. It had wrinkles and makes you age faster. So Let Go and Let God.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mixed Emotions

I'm really confused right now with everything going on. I know God has plan and purpose for everything. I just need a little bit of guidance on how to handle everything and what should I do first.

So last week was a wonderful trip to Disney World. I came in the top 25 runners of the Tower of Terror 10 miler. It felt great during the race. However, it was so humid during it that it felt like I was breathing oven air. I was a nice sweaty mess afterwards. I washed off with wet wipes and stuck my head under a sink faucet and put foam mousse into it and then put my hair under the hand dryer (Disney beauty at it's finest.) We stayed in the park until at least 4 in the morning because it was opened to those of us who ran 10 miles and our family and friends.

The trip really was wonderful. Yeah it rained and it was extremely humid, but we were able to look beyond that. We did a lot of shopping and shows that I know I had never really explored before and I've been there several times in my life. (I'll be honest. I did more shopping this time because I was desperate for some air conditioning.) Chris and I danced in the rain. I spent long hours in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I still never get bored there. I am almost finished my collection of wands. To me a trip to Orlando is not complete without a stop at WWoHP!

When we came home I knew I had school work to do. I did manage to remember my Google course that was due on the 10th. I did a review on the class HERE. I did get to take a survey on the class today. I cannot wait to get my certification from Google. For me it means more knowledge and I really love that.

Now for the part of the blog that has me upset. I got a message around 9 on Monday night from my dad. "You need to get to Memphis as fast as you can." My blood went cold and one thing came to mind; Jackjack. I packed two days worth of clothes in a bag and left immediately. I drove all night. I cut corners getting there as fast as I could. I'll admit I was speeding. I know at one point I was literally going 90 mph. I went to the hospital only to find Jackjack fine and my oldest brother sitting there. He looked sort of ashen to me when he turned to me and told me to go to the hospital.

I was so scared it was dad. Let me make it clear that for most people my age my dad is like a grandfather agewise. I pulled in and I come face to face with my other brothers. I really start to panic because I know it has to be severe for them to come out of their shells. Job looked at me and said, "She's gone." I stared at him. And may God forgive me for thinking this but my mind flashed with "Oh my God. She killed dad and took his money." I was afraid that dad was telling me to get there because he knew she was about to kill him.

However, I heard dad's voice, but then what was Job talking about. Dad was asking for me. I went to him and he had tears in his eyes. It finally dawned on me. My stepmom hadn't just left this time. She had taken the last resort to get away from everything. Dad hugged me for a long time. He asked me had I talked to Viv who is my stepsister, who is pregnant. I hadn't and I really didn't want to be the one to tell her that her mother was gone.

Everything the next day was a blur for me. I was stunned. My mind kept going to Jackjack, Jonah, John, Jacob, and Viv. What does it take for a mother to not want to raise her children or see her grandchild? It has bothered me all along. It has hit my immediate family, for the most part, hard. My oldest brothers never really had anything to do for her and they wouldn't even go to the funeral so they are staying with Jackjack. The funeral is in Paris, where she was from growing up.

I am in Paris as I write the last part of this blog. We are in a nice hotel because Lance (Viv's husband) said that we would spend the rest of the time here at his house, but he wanted to stay in a hotel for now. I had no problem with staying in a hotel for the night. Chris, of course, hide me a surprise in my luggage. I have a new novel  and journal. That man never stops amazing me and I love him more everything day.

I leave you all for now.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

New Topics for Blog! Moundville's Native American Festival



I have decided to redo parts of my blog. I am getting rid of the craft and recipe section—but, keeping a "Make Things" so they are all a big section. Taking it's place is the section called Events. I will be doing Alabama and other events that go along with my blog or that I deem interesting. If you have any you want me to write about please let me know.

My first event is an event I attended last year, but am not able to attend this year because of family emergencies and personal setbacks. I enjoyed this event a lot when I attended and I think it is a learning event as well as entertainment. Go all the way to Tuscaloosa to enjoy Moundville's Native American Festival.

The 320-acre park, containing more than 20 mounds built by a community of Native Americans of the Mississippian culture, was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1964. The site is believed to have been America's largest city north of Mexico 800 years ago. It's an event that has been held for over 20 years. The festival, first held in 1989, began with the mission of teaching schoolchildren about Southeast Native American culture. The festival director says that over the years they have taught over 100,000 people about arts, crafts, and lifeways of the Southeastern Indians. Many of the Native Americans look forward to this event because for many of them it is a homecoming event.

There are many live entertainment specials to pick from such as The Chickasaw Nation Dance Troupe, the Bogue Houma Choctaw Dancers, the Mystic Wind Choctaw Dancers and Lyndon Alec that will demonstrate traditional dances. Injunuity, a Native American Music flue-guitar duo from Oklahoma, will be there with its mix of traditional and modern styles. Other performers are singer-songwriter Michael Jacobs and flutists Billy Whitefox, Sydney Mitchell, Jimmy Yellowhorse and Charlie Mato-Toyela. On Saturday, the Mystic Wind Stickball Players of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians will demonstrate the sport of stickball. Last but not final is Gayle Ross will tell Cherokee stories throughout the week. Ross, a frequent performer at storytelling and folk festivals across the country, is the direct descendant of John Ross, chief of the Cherokee Nation during and after the Trail of Tears. (These are just to name a few.)

The festival has many different things that are for all ages. It's a way to expose people to more culture and for them to realize that there was a time when you could live with the land. They accomplish this by having such stations as living history, arts and craft arbors, target rang, children's area, Knapper's corner, arts market and trader's circle, food courts, and park explorations.

Living history part of the festival is where people can really learn what life was about back then. The past can come to life through sights, sounds, and smells. All kinds of characters, dressed in period clothing, are camped out and wander throughout the park to show what life was like back in the 1400s through early 1800s. In the arts and crafts arbors the Native Americans and other experts show how they created pottery, basketry, beadwork, ancient tools and weapons, silversmithing, fingerweaving, and a lot more. They encourage people to ask question because they want to show how things were done back then without what we call technology. Storytelling and corn husk doll making are available.

Target Range is very cool you can watch the experts throw spears, shoot blowguns, and practice archery skills that they have. Sometimes you might be lucky enough to to watch them competing. They will let some participants actually throw spears and rabbit sticks. They will always have displays of ancient tools, weapons, and hunting and fishing equipment around them. Knapper's Corner is where flintknappers shape arrow and spear points, knives and other tools from stone. They sell their work and are always willing to share their knowledge. Bow maker and blacksmiths can also be found in this area.

Children's area was probably my favorite because the kids get to make shell necklaces, play Indian games, get their face painted, dress up in historic clothing, make headbands and learn how clothing was made from trees. Arts market and trader circle is where fine artists exhibit and sell sculpture, pottery, gourds, baskets, textiles, carvings, flutes, paintings, and prints. Reproductions of handcrafted clothing, jewelry, books, tapes, and many more souvenirs for every pocketbook that comes. Also in the newly renovated museum don't forget the Knotted Bird gifts for more shopping.

In the food courts there will be a wide variety of delicious Indian foods at the main food court. Traditional festival concessions are also available. Near the river is even more food. As far as exploring the park going to the Chieftain's Mound there are experts that will tell you all about the new discoverings happening at Moundville. Or taking a leisure stroll down the boardwalk nature trails. Plus the excavation behind Jones Museum is another thing not to be missed.

The festival will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Moundville Archaeological Park, located 13 miles south of the University of Alabama campus on Alabama Highway 69. Admission to the festival is $10 for adults, $8 for students and free for children ages 5 and younger. Call 205-371-8732 for more information on discounts with group reservations.



Sunday, October 7, 2012

I'm backkkkk! Plus: Review: Google Power Search




Hello! Bonjour! Aloha!
I am back from Disney World and Universal Studios! I had a fabulous time while I was gone. I'll write and blog about the gritty details later along with some pictures from the trip.

It is Sunday. I know I did not blog throughout my trip like I promised, but a lot of unexpected surprises happened during the trip and my time was very much consumed.

Anyhow you should know that I love to learn. I love pushing myself to knew limits of knowledge and wisdom all the time. Yes, there is a difference between knowledge and wisdom. That topic is for another blog, however.

I signed up for Google Power Search Course on a whim. I was Googling something and I happened to come across an offer to join their course on how to search Google like a pro. I was a little hesitate to sign up for it since the assignments were due right after I returned from vacation and some of the classes would be posted while I was on vacation.

I am sure glad I went ahead and pushed myself! I learned so much from the courses. Some of the tips and tricks I already knew from much time spent on the Internet. I had been wondering here lately about searching for something without certain other phrases and words popping up with it as well. That was definitely my big lesson that I learned.

I finished the course (all the activities and assignments) in a day. I'm not bragging. For a person that doesn't use Google a lot it will take a couple of days (when they open it back up) because you have to get used to your surroundings of the search engine. I have several friends who rely on Bing and Yahoo! and I just stare at them. "WHY?" I just cannot fathom using anything other than Google now.

I love all Google products. I want to try out their computer and tablet to see how I like them. I constantly checking to see what products that they come out with on a weekly basis. If Google ever goes out of business I'm a going to be lost. I guess I will have to rely on Microsoft.

If Google offers this course again I will definitely recommend it.