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Puppy Poop!!!!

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Good Day Blogging Friends!

Well, I have been quiet since the concert in Traverse City and with VERY good reason . . .

EIGHT 6 WEEK OLD PUPPIES!!!!

Yep, you got it . . . we have eight puppies that are six weeks old right now!  Fortunately, up until the concert in Traverse City the babies were very easy.  Since then, we have introduced real food and wah-lah!  Life changed!

These sweet babies were born on Christmas day.  Eight F2B Medium-sized Golden Doodles!  Four boys, four girls.

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What most people don’t know is that for the first four weeks, the mama cleans up all their messes.  They actually cannot pee or poop without the mama stimulating it – so – no mess for the keeper of the puppies!  The mama keeps it all clean. 

They grow and get more adorable daily – at two weeks their eyes open, at three weeks their ears open, and by four weeks they are wobbly but walking and are learning to play!  THAT, my friends, is the fun part! 

Then, at four weeks, you must introduce food.  Food that has to be soaked or cooked and softened because they still don’t really have teeth.  And then . . . poop!  REAL poop.  Not Mama Dilly breast milk poop that Mama Dilly will clean up.  Nope.  Real, stinky, bonafide poop that Sarah and Bryan must clean up . . . over and over and over again! 

So, as soon as we got home from TC, the pups were ready and actually a few days past when I should have introduced the food.  And so, our lives changed! 

For the past two weeks we have tended to, snuggled with, and cleaned up after these babies just about non-stop!  This stage is where you earn the money you make from selling these sweet babies.

Our friends Travis and Hailey snuggling pups!

Our friends Travis and Hailey snuggling pups!

Today, I can tell you who each baby is and what their new given name is.  Scout, Ginger, Leia, Sadie, Daisy, Dodger, Luke, and Kevin.  Yes, Kevin!  Isn’t that hilarious?  Most of them were named very early on and are now used to hearing their own name.  I can tell you what their personalities are and they all melt when I pick them up because they are so used to and attached to me. 

We have never had a winter litter.  Usually I have a nice big pen set up out in the garage and one out in the yard and that helps dispel the stink from the house and some of the noise. . . but alas . . . it is winter in Michigan and far too cold for either a garage pen or an outdoor pen!  They actually went outside for the first time Friday, then again yesterday.  Guess what?  Poor little babies – so tiny and cold!  One of them would get to the pile of snow at the edge of the grass and would just sit and cry.  She wouldn’t dare cross through the snow . . . lol!

So, if I seem a bit distracted and the least bit spiritual . . . it’s because I would love to go crawl back in bed right now!  But, I need to give puppies baths, prepare to teach voice lessons this afternoon, and ready these babies to go home!  The first one leaves tomorrow and by Wednesday evening we will only have two left in our possession!

Oh, I know what you are thinking . . . the question that everyone asks is, “aren’t you sad when they leave?”

Ha!  Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!  While I do love and adore these babies while they are in my keeping, I am thrilled to see them go to good homes and be loved as individuals instead of in a pack! 

Plus . . . I see an end to the puppy poop just ahead!  Hallelujah! 

Have a great week everyone!!!! 

Winter Solstice Gala, January 23, 2016

 

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Good Day Everyone!

Well.  I don’t even know where to begin!  This past Saturday was our big event to raise awareness and funds for Citizens Against Sex Trafficking (C.A.S.T.) up in Traverse City, MI.  It was absolutely amazing!  I really don’t know how to even BEGIN to wrap up the evening for you . . . so, I guess I’ll start at the beginning!

When I was asked to be a part of the event, the organizers were just throwing around ideas and started with me, really.  I was asked to be part of a fundraiser and to sing Christmas in Heaven and The Patriotic Medley.  No problem!  Two songs I am very familiar with and am HAPPY to sing!  That was last August.

In November, a team of folks putting on the event came to visit me in Midland, and by this time they had gotten a director and musician named Chris Bickley on board.  Chris is known throughout the music world as both a top TOP notch sax player and conductor.  Chris directs the Bay Area Big Band and runs a non-profit that helps provide music and opportunities in the music world to children.  His bio goes on forever and is full of amazing accomplishments!  Chris had offered his big band to play for their fundraiser and asked me if I would like to sing with them????  

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Would I??????  

Now!  This is where the flavor of my world began to change!  Lol!  

You see, I have never had an opportunity to sing with a big band.  I’ve sung with symphonies . . . but never a big band.

When I record, the music is written around my voice . . . we pick keys that work with my range and that fit my voice perfectly.  So every track that I sing to in my music career is pretty much perfectly fit for me.  That is a wonderful thing!

To sing with the Bay Area Big Band, I had to fit into THEM!  I was sent some song options and had to choose based on my familiarity (which wasn’t much) and based on what songs fit my range decently.  By mid-December we had nailed down three songs that I would sing above and beyond my own two songs . . . three that would be performed WITH the big band.  

Now, here’s the thing. . . I never got to practice WITH the band . . . or with a track.  I had to learn the songs with a vocalist singing a demo.  I mostly practiced acapella (with no music).  It is really hard to make a song your own when you practice over and over with another vocalist.  

So, all of that to say, I was actually super super nervous heading into Saturday.  When I sing a song at church or at a concert I have usually practiced it with a track over and over and over until there are no surprises.  For this event, I got to run each song once . . . well, we did run Somewhere Over the Rainbow twice, I guess.  But basically, sound check was at 4:30 Saturday and the event started at six.  I knew that I better know my part well before I got there and pray that I ‘jived’ well with the band!

Oh friends!!!!  It was amazing!!!!  The Bay Area Big Band is made up of the top musicians in the state.  Many of them are instructors at Interlochen Arts Academy – the top music school in the world.  And ‘jive’ we did!  What an honor to share the stage with such talented musicians!  Thank you, Chris Bickley, for the opportunity and for all your guidance along the way!

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I have to tell you . . . for days and days before the event I wondered what in the world I was thinking asking to sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow!!!!!  Seriously!  What was I thinking?????  One of the MOST iconic songs in the world and I would get to run it ONCE????  Oh my!  I was a nervous wreck!

We took to that stage to practice and it was like it was a perfect fit!  And . . . the places I had struggled before the band was behind me . . . places that felt too high when I was practicing at home all by my lonesome . . . once the band was behind me they just soared!!!!  It was magical!  I am so excited to be able to share with you . . . the brand new Sarah Schieber version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow!  I wish I could sing it with them every single day for the rest of my life!!!!!  I am so very thankful to Jesus for the opportunity . . . and for all His help!!!!!  His precious anointing definitely showed up Saturday night!

Another fun part of the evening was all my outfit changes and hair and makeup.  When I was asked to sing Christmas in Heaven for the event, I was asked to please find an evening gown that would represent the song AND the flavor of the evening . . . it was a ‘gala’ after all!  So, I took to finding a gown and find I did!  Because of the way the evening fell together, I had three very fun outfits to wear which was so much fun!

My sister knows a wonderful hair and makeup artist up in the Traverse City area who we hired to do my hair and makeup for the evening and wow!  Was he awesome!  Thank you to Logan Dillon for getting me all ‘dolled’ up!!!!  

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As you can see from the pictures . . . it was a wonderful night all around!  

Most importantly, C.A.S.T. felt that the night was a success!  Awareness was raised for a very important issue!  Thank you!  Thank you, C.A.S.T., for letting me be a part of your very special evening!!!!!

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Faithfulness

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I have found God’s faithfulness to be less about His actions to prevent suffering in my life and more about His sustaining power to walk me through the sufferings. 

We are healed of the horrible disease and we say, "God is faithful." 

We avoid tragedy and we say, "God is faithful." 

We live a financially sound life and we say, "God is faithful."

But what?  What about?  What if?  What then? 

                What happens to God’s faithfulness when Job 3:25 lands on our doorstep?  My friends, God’s sweet faithfulness is not dependent upon Him saving us from the things we dread.  His faithfulness IS.  Period.  It is Him being all that we need through every step of our lives.  The good steps, and especially the tough ones.  He is so, so faithful. 

Playing Catch Up!

Playing Catch Up!!!!!

A man's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?

Proverbs 20:24

Oh!  My!  Goodness! 

Hello, my cyberspace friends!  How are you?  Or, shall I say ‘Hola?’

I bet some of you have wondered where on earth I have been.  I am sorry for my absence – let me explain! 

On January 24th I left for my first vacation WITHOUT my kiddo’s in over five years!  Hola!  Buenos Dias!  I got to go to Cancun for six days with four of my very best friends to celebrate a fortieth birthday.  It was fabulous.  I do believe I slept better than I have in five years – even with Marni coughing and hacking in the bed next to me.  I slept right through it.  Yeah, Marn was terribly sick the whole time.  But, if I had to choose to be sick in Michigan in January OR in Cancun in January . . . you got it!  I pick Cancun!  Anyhow – we had a wonderful time and came home completely refreshed.  Ha!  Not for long . . .

I arrived home to find my favorite person in the whole wide world, my Grandma Proffitt, really struggling.  My mom was Grandma’s main care-giver, which translated to my mom struggling as well.  Eight days after arriving home from Cancun, my grandma passed away.  We were blessed to be able to spend the last week of her life all gathered around her bed.  We were able to say everything we possibly could have wanted to.  We sang to her, prayed with her, laughed around her, served her, and loved on her.  On February 7th, 2013, Grandma Proffitt went Home.  She was 93.  Grandma never got old.  She even mowed her own lawn last summer.  She was never elderly and she was a barrel of fun.   I could go on for days, but it would make me cry, so please just know that she is already very missed.

 

In the midst of all that chaos – my website was finally moved from one server to another.  Actually, I have NO idea if that is what was moved.  I know we went from Joomla to WordPress.  So, whatever those things are called – we switched.  That left me not knowing how to even post a blog and with Grandma in her final days I just couldn’t take the time to figure it out.  After she passed away, I had the honor of giving the ‘message’ at her memorial service, we spent a couple days up North to help my mom out after the funeral, and then I hit the road doing ministry.  I think I have literally been away from my home WAY more than I have BEEN home in the last month. 

Speaking of ministry – last week I had the pleasure of traveling to southern Indiana to sing for a Widows Valentine’s Banquet.  It was absolutely wonderful!  Talk about a great group of ladies.  Such sweet, sweet women.  We had a wonderful time together and it looks like I will be heading back next Valentine’s Day to minister to all three of their widows groups combined.  I can’t wait!!!!!

We got home from Indiana late Friday night.  I was home Saturday, then went to Abbi’s swim meet in Ann Arbor Sunday, was home Monday and on Tuesday I took Micah, my youngest, to an eye specialist in Detroit.  For those of you who don’t know – both Ann Arbor AND Detroit are about two hours away.  LOTS of driving! 

I believe this eye exam will be a defining moment in this little guy’s life!  Micah has struggled with headaches, and particularly migraines, since he was about five.  About a year ago we began seeing a pediatric Neurologist through U of M because he was having 2-5 migraines a week.  He began a daily pill  to reduce the frequency.  I thought it was working for a while – but now we are back to way too many migraines.

Now!  Let me tell you a story of the steps of the righteous being ordered by God . . . Proverbs 20! 

Last November one of my cousins got married.  As we were waiting for the reception to start, my sister and I didn’t really know what to do with ourselves so we randomly picked a table and sat down.  Turns out that one decision was life changing – on a couple levels.  First, the folks sitting at that table were mostly Michigan State Police troopers (my cousin is a troop) and one of the ladies was a chaplain for the MSP.  Our discussion that night was life changing for me as you all know that I have now decided to become a chaplain . . . or do you?  Maybe I haven’t shared that yet . . . Hmmm.  I will have to go back and check.  I may need to fill you in on that, as well.

The other thing that happened is that as we sat at this random table with these random people whom we had just met, two of them began to talk about their migraines being better.  Now, Krystn and I are both life-long migraine sufferers AND our children are too – so we perked up.  Turns out, both of these women had gone to see an eye specialist near Detroit who specializes in headaches and migraines.  They said that she has figured out that if your eyes don’t track properly it can cause constant eye strain and lead to headaches, dizziness, nausea, anxiety, and a number of other factors.  She has developed a ‘prism’ for glasses which sets your alignment right and takes all those symptoms away. 

Not only did I leave that wedding with some wonderful new friends – I also left with all the info to get ahold of the doctor.  A few weeks later Micah’s piano teacher pulled me aside and told me that he was concerned that Micah’s eyes weren’t tracking right.  I went right home and made an appointment with the eye doctor. 

It took everything I had to not weep through the entire appointment.  Dr. Debby is so sweet and kind.  The appointment took about 3 hours!  Can you believe that?  Part way through the appointment she taped several different lenses to a pair of glasses and had Micah sit for 30 minutes.  She then re-examined him.  He was a different kid!   He walked taller and straighter, and even his feet were different.   For the first time in his life the ‘shadows,’ as he called them, were gone.  Turns out, Micah has been seeing double his entire life!  Most of her patients have something called Vertical Heterophoria.  Micah actually has something called Exophoria.  Both diagnosis’ have to do with the tracking of the eyes.

When challenged, his left eye completely checks out of the equation of seeing.  Instead of trying to focus, it would just wander off on its own.  She said the problem comes in when he is ‘forced’ to focus – ie, school, sports, etc . . . and that is when he gets the migraines.  She said she suspects he will be able to get off his migraine pills, in time, and . . . she also believes that he will be a new kid in no time at all.  (I have had Micah to two different eye doctors – one when he was six and again when he was 10 . . . both said his eyes were fine.  Praise God for a doctor who would take the time needed to figure it out.)

We head back to Detroit tomorrow, hopefully, to get his new glasses.  They will be what they call ‘classroom’ glasses . . . otherwise known as bifocals.  They don’t have much of a ‘prescription’ but they will have the prism technology that will correct his alignment issues and will give this baby boy a new life!  I am so very thankful for a God who knows us and loves us and who somehow can direct even the littlest decisions of our lives . . . like where to sit at a wedding reception . . . and in an astounding way that only He can . . . can change our lives forever!  He is such a good and faithful God! 

By the way – I have made an appointment for myself with Dr. Debby.  I can’t get in until May, just to show you how this must be changing MANY people’s lives.  When I was 10 I was diagnosed with tracking issues with my eyes.  She said Micah’s problem is most likely genetic – I think I know where he got it.  I am hoping I will also be able to live headache free.  That would be an amazing thing!

If you struggle with headaches, dizziness, nausea, car sickness, watery eyes, trouble reading, etc . . . check out their website.  Dr. Debby Feinberg with Vision Specialists of Michigan.  www.VSofM.com

Now, as it relates to this blog – I do believe I have a lot of catching up to do!  Beginning tomorrow I will be working to catch up all of my journal entries from the last month.

I will be speaking with my sister soon – but there is a chance that if you were ‘signed up’ to receive my blog automatically on my old website that you might have to sign up again on this new one.  I’m not sure, but I will do some checking into it and let you all know! 

Blessings to you all and see you tomorrow!  For my precious little Micah, ‘see you tomorrow’ will mean a whole new thing soon!  Thank you Jesus!

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