Saturday, February 28, 2015

Day Two

Its another day in Moscow,  Idaho at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival.  After eating breakfast at St. Mary's Catholic church we sat in on several performances performed by area high school students.  It was great to hear these young people play.

Our group then split up where two of the students and I broke off from the group to attend a workshop on campus led by Stefan Harris, talk about musical prodigy.  Wow. ... amazing artist. I am a music lover not a musician.   I am out of my league but I am enjoying the company.  

Shortly one of our own students will perform for the judges then off to dinner and finally two more concerts before heading back to bed at midnight.  

Wow, what an amazing weekend.

Jazz Festival

We are in historic Moscow, Idaho at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival with Brian and members of his high school concert and jazz bands.  I am exhausted.  My eyes are heavy with sleep, but we are having a good time.   So far we have attended two concerts given by the Airmen of Note, and a group of all-stars jazz performers.  Today we have attended workshops dealing with improvisation,  hearing notes and the emotions they evoked, and now we are waiting to learn about spacing your improv. Properly.  After a few hours of free time and dinner it will be time for a few more concerts.  I hope we make it to bed by midnight.

It is cool to hear the conversations around me, and see so many teenagers eager to jump up on stage to learn from the pros.  I know that by the time this weekend is over I will be worn out but it will be worth it.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


So here is the scoop.  I talked to the builder and gave him our changes, that is we took out the basement.  No garage. No apartment.  The changes took $70,000 off the price which makes a huge difference.  Using an online mortgage calculator it appears our mortgage would be the same as our rent give or take $50.  Monday we talk to the bank to confirm the numbers and get all the paper work started.  The next step after that is to arrange for the surveyor to come out to the property and mark out the area to be excuavated.  I won't believe it is really going to happen until all the permits are signed and all the lights are green, but it is looking promising.

I also realized yesterday that WSU has been sending out admission letters but we haven't gotten one yet.  Why?  Well, Bonnie admitted she was not as proactive as she should have been to get all of her info in in a timely manor.  She may have been too slow.  She has taken on the responsibility that she may have sabotaged her chances of getting in next fall.  I haven't given up hope since I know that everyone who gets accepted doesn't necessarily apply, but we are a little on edge.  The way I see it is if she doesn't get in next year then she will have a year to work full time to earn more money for tuition and a car. Plus she will already have an associates degree.  

On a final note, I was loaned the book The Gift of Dyslexia to read.  I am learning a lot and hope it will be helpful for Bryce and I.  I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Co Op Days seem to have become blog days since I often have an hour or two to read or write.  Today I don't have to sub in a class so I can sit back and relax.  I just read through my last post and find that it is not surprising that the topic of our future home is at the forefront of my thoughts.  On the way home today I am to stop off at the builders and let him know of the changes we are making with our house and set up a new appointment.  It looks like we are going to press forward unless an unmovable roadblock stops us.  

In other news, I am so excited for our daughter who has been inducted into the National Honor School of High School Scholars.  She has worked so hard to keep her grades up and the hard work has paid off.  Right now we are praying that she gets accepted to Washington State University.  She talked to the admissions office last week to make sure they had all of her info which they did.  They just have not sent out admission letters yet.

Brian is on winter break which means he is laying around all week and doing absolutely NOTHING!   Must be nice.  Normally I would have given Bryce a break as well, but he has assignments to complete for co-op so he will take his break when co-op takes a break.

All in all, we are hanging in there.  Getting through one day at a time.  Praying for guidance.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

An Open Hand

I have learned over the past twenty plus years to live life with an open hand.  Not literally.  But figuratively.  Of all the Ten Commandments, the last one is the most difficult, the most challenging to live by....Thou Shalt Not other words....Be Content.  That is hard, especially in today's society as we are bombarded with materialism.  For years I gave up looking at magazines, newspapers, store fliers, and commercials.  I struggled seeing all of those things that I wanted to have...not needed...wanted....and couldn't have.   Bitterness.  Anger.   Discontent ruled in my heart.  Over time I gave all of those desires to my Lord.  I learned Contentment.  I learned Peace.  I learned to hold my wants, my desires, my dreams in an open hand.  If those things came to pass, Great.  If not, OK, it was not meant to be.  My overwhelming desire is to be where God wants, doing what He wants, with what He wants.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Do I still have dreams?  Yes.  Do I still have desires? Yes, but I try to willingly let them go.

What brings all of this up, you may ask.  If you are a friend or family member you know my overwhelming desire is to have our own house.  For the first time, we have been renting for an extended period of time.  The home we live in is very nice, less than ten years old.  The nicest house we have ever lived in.  It is full of beautiful furniture.  Not our own,but beautiful.  But that is the is not our own.  For the past year and longer we have been trying to put into place the means to have our own land,our own home.   It has been a roller coaster to say the least.  There are times the dream seems so realistic, my hopes soar, my Pinterest board grows, I'm on cloud nine and then something happens, the bubble bursts, I crash emotionally, tears, and then I hold out my hand and say to my Lord, "Your will be done." My ever present prayer has been that if this is not His will, don't let it happen.  Close the door.  Don't let the builder approves us.  Don't let the bank approve us.  Make it obvious.  But if everyone says it's possible, it's doable, then let it happen.

So here we are.  We met with the builder last week and he gave us the final cost to do all that we want for our future home.  Reality set in and my husband and I have had to come to terms that there are things on our wish list that need to go.  Hand open, let it go.  We went to the bank and they said everything looks good and they would have no trouble lending to us.  The payments are more than we would like but doable.  Things are looking good.  The excitement is growing.  I think this is really going to happen.  New news came down the pipeline last night that might sabotage the whole thing.  Not going into specifics right now.  This post is long enough.  Anger. Tears. Hand is open.  Isn't this what I have been praying for?  

Friday, February 6, 2015


I don't know about you, but even though we have called the "Do Not Call List" we still get calls from solicitors and such trying to sell us something, ask for a donation, or scam us.  I have discouraged our most recent scammer by blowing my husband's referee whistle into the phone every time they called.  I think we have been removed from their call list.  hmmph...

The other night while folding clothes and watching the news I heard the story of lady who was almost scammed by a group claiming to be the IRS and had convinced her that she owed over five thousand dollars and needed to pay it back asap or they would come after her and throw her into jail.  This gullible lady kept the scammer on the phone while she did everything they told her to do such as drive to the nearest grocery story, purchase thousands of dollars worth of vouchers and proceed to cash them so that she could give the money to "someone" who was waiting for her in a parked car.  Fortunately, the store clerk was pretty savvy and figured out what was going on and stopped the woman.  I am sure the lady is pretty embarrassed by the whole ordeal but she wanted to alert the general public so she went to the news media.

The whole story reminded me of the time I was scammed.  I was twelve years old.  My brother wasn't at  home, probably at camp or something, both my parents were at work and I was home alone.  It was in the summer.  The phone rang and the caller asked for my mom.  I told them she wasn't home.   He then asked for my dad.  I knew better to tell him that my dad wasn't home so I told him that my dad was busy and couldn't take the call.  The caller called my bluff and told me that he knew my dad wasn't at home, but instead he was at work and the caller knew that because he was at my dad's work and had a gun to his head.  If I didn't do what the caller said then he would kill by dad.  Also, he informed me that his partner was parked down the road from my house and was watching the door so there was no use of me going outside for help, because his partner would tell him and my dad would be killed.  Imagine my horror!  Too young and too innocent to know that none of this could possibly be true, but I was in shock.  The caller then began to ask me a variety of questions.  Mainly, he started asking what I was wearing.  I told him, but he got angry with my answers. He wanted to know what I was wearing under my outside clothes.  SNAP!!! RED FLAGS EVERYWHERE!!!  I went red in the face and slammed the phone down.  I immediately picked the phone back up to call the, I don't remember who, I think the police, but he was still on the other end and I could hear him breathing.  I slammed down the phone again and decided to risk running across the street to the neighbors.  Wouldn't you know, none of the neighbors we were good friends with were home.  Ugghhh!!!! I then saw that the Collin's garage door was up.  I ran through it and found Mrs. Collins hanging up her laundry.  Breathlessly, I told her about the caller and that he was at my dad's work with a gun to his head.  Wisely, Mrs. Collins got on her phone and called my dad.  Imagine my dad's surprise when he gets a frantic call from his twelve year old daughter asking if some lunatic is at his office.  My dad was safe but to reassure me he came immediately home to prove that it was all a scam. 
Here is the other part.  I had told the caller what I was wearing.  I was afraid that if I went out in public some lunatic would recognize me by my clothes and come after me.  I had no desire to go out in public ever again.  My mom, however,  made me go to Target with her that evening.  I was so nervous walking through the parking lot.  Oh, and I never wore that outfit again.  No sir, I was not taking that chance. 

A week later, the local news station did a story on this same caller.  I wasn't the only person he had called.  He had women doing all kinds of crazy things.  So hearing the latest scam story over the news brought back a flood of memories and a reminder to not get sucked in.  Oh... and they don't like it when you blow a Fox 40 ref whistle into the phone.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Going Home

Our 24 hour get-a-way is coming to an end.  After spending a few more hours in the water park and another hour watching the boys run around solving quests we finally left the Great Wolf Lodge and headed home.  It was a great relaxing time.  On the way home we drove by our state capitol for a look.