Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Reason for the Season ~ Great Reminder

I love Facebook!  I'm on Faceboook nearly 24/7 watching for news from my children - pictures of my grandchildren, etc.

Today was an interesting day on Facebook.  My "friends and family" posted some amazing things.  One stood out and caused me to pause for a while.

Yep!  That's what it's all about.  That's why I spend so much of my waking time working on songs, arrangements, etc.  Thank you special friend for sharing this!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Extreme Christmas Trees ~ a "Must See"!

My Ginger of Literally Inspired "liked" something on Facebook today that reminded me of a show I recently watched.  If you love Christmas like I do, I bet you'll enjoy the show. (I streamed it on Netflix but I believe TLC is going to show it again soon.)

It's "Extreme Christmas Trees" on TLC.  A sneak preview can be found here.  (I took a screen shot of my Netflix account page to get the picture to show you.)

One of the places featured is just 60 miles away from us.  It's Brunswick Manor in Brunswick, Georgia.  I really want to visit it now and at Christmas, of course!

Hope you enjoy the show and thanks for visiting ~ Reia

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Reflections Today on ~ Yesterday and Tomorrow

Today I sat at a light and watched as mothers picked up their children after a full day of school.  Backpacks, pigtails and the papers that were completed that day.  I watched as mothers asked questions and children answered.

I saw myself in them and remembered the time in my past when I was that mother and I scurried along with my daughters after school.  I, too, was eager to share their day and to make sure they were safe, healthy and hopefully happy.

I loved being in their classrooms, being "Room Mother" and sharing their school life.
(Traci is seated with the side ponytail at my left arm.)

I spend a lot of my time now looking from the inside out and wondering how my remaining time on this Earth should be spent.  What contribution can I make?  What contribution do I make?  How can I be an active part in my now grown daughters' lives and the lives of their children?  How do I make each precious moment count for something good?

I don't have answers yet - just the questions.

I DO know that I've been blessed.  I have a huge stash of memories made from seemingly mundane and yet important activities like I watched today.


The backpacks no longer line the hall, there are no school papers to admire or sign but there are butterflies that fly in my heart when I remember back to that time in my life and I know that the future will be good - whatever it ends up being.

Thanks for visiting ~ Reia

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Christmas Movies ~ What Fun!

Tonight's been a night of Christmas movies!  I love this time of the year - so many good movies to watch!  These are "Reia tested & approved".  So feel free to watch and enjoy!

A Golden Christmas 2

A Golden Christmas 3

A Christmas Kiss

Holiday Road Trip - couldn't find a picture but here's a picture of Patrick Muldoon - the male star of this movie.

I've had a good evening of Christmas movies - hopefully you'll enjoy them also.

Thanks for visiting ~ Reia

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving and the "Mess Hall" (aka Dining Facility)

We live in an amazing area.  We have old trees with Spanish Moss, Coastal Beaches and Ft. Stewart  - home of the 3rd ID -"Rock of the Marne".


Every year we enjoy our Thanksgiving Feast at one of the Dining Facilities on post.  This year was just like years in the past - a pleasant time with good friends - an excellent meal and great decorations!

They had the largest Cornucopia I've ever seen!

So - from Bill (and me) - Happy Thanksgiving!

and...thanks for visiting ~ Reia

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving ~ Boxes Prepared and Picked Up

Sunday was the day the Youth Group showed us what team work is all about!  They did in 45 minutes what it used to take several hours to complete as they filled all of the boxes with the makings of a Thanksgiving Dinner.  Wow and Good Job!

Some wonderful people spent a couple of weeks wrapping boxes (above - ready to be filled) in preparation of Thanksgiving.  We put together about 120 boxes full of good things to create a Thanksgiving Dinner for families.

Here are the boxes filled - numbered (by the family picking them up) and ready to be handed out this morning.  I dropped by and it was fun to see the boxes going out the door.  What a great feeling!

Hope your Thanksgiving preparations are going well as we get closer to Thanksgiving Day!  (We just have two days to go until my favorite holiday is here!)  Thanks for visiting ~ Reia

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thanksgiving ~ A Time of Giving

Every year I look forward to helping with the Thanksgiving Baskets our church creates and gives out.  A table is set up with paper bags that have tags on them.  Some have 5 cans of Green Beans, 5 cans of Corn, 5 Dessert boxes, 5 Mashed Potato boxes, etc.  Even on my limited income it's something I can participate in and I always grab bags for myself and for my mother.

“At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by ‘I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was naked and you clothed me, I was homeless and you took me in.’ Hungry not only for bread — but hungry for love. Naked not only for clothing — but naked for human dignity and respect. Homeless not only for want of a room of bricks — but homeless because of rejection.” ~ Mother Teresa

I'm always amazed at how giving this congregation is.  The bags get picked up, filled up and returned.  I took this picture when I was dropping off my items this week.  (Wish I had a flash on my phone - I think you get the idea though.)

Thanks for visiting ~ Reia

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Amazing Love ~ The Story of Hosea

Okay - my busy weekend playing for our Masses - being part of a fun Fall Family Festival yesterday (to include being put into our "Jail" at least 3 times) is a memory.

I actually have time to watch a movie.  Scrolling through the choices on Netflix I was intrigued by "Amazing Love - The Story of Hosea".

While a little corny/sappy, I wasn't expecting this movie to touch my heart so.  Don't get me wrong, I love my Bible and the wealth of stories it holds.  The way this movie took a "now" story and wove it into an Old Testament story about how very much God loves us left an indelible impression on my heart.

IMDB describes it like this - "When a confrontation occurs amongst the youth group, Stuart takes the opportunity to share with the group the touching story of the Old Testament prophet Hosea."   I'm reminded of I John 3:1 - "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us..."

I give it a 3 out of 5 tears on the "Reia Tear Meter".  If you have a heart for God at all - it's definitely worth watching.  If you don't know God, this is a good example of how very much God loves US!

Thanks for visiting ~ Reia

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Feast of Christ the King ~ November 24, 2013

November 24, 2013 is the last Sunday of the liturgical year.  It's also our "Youth Mass" for the month.

We're celebrating "The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe" also known as "The Feast of Christ the King".  From what I've read in preparation for this day, I've learned a few things.

1 - "The feast is intended to proclaim in a striking and effective manner Christ's royalty over individuals, families, society, governments, and nations."  (I found this explanation here.)

2 - About.com explains it this way - "The Feast of Christ the King is a moveable feast.  It is celebrated on the final Sunday of the liturgical year, which is the last Sunday before Advent starts."

The song suggestions make more sense to me now.  Our song suggestions for November 24th are:  (I've included YouTube links in case you want to listen to the songs.)

Holy, Holy, Holy  -  All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name
Lord of the Dance  -  Behold the Lamb
The Supper of the Lord  -  Unless a Grain of Wheat
Crown Him with Many Crowns
Rejoice, the Lord Is King  -  How Great Thou Art

Thanks for joining me on this journey ~ Reia

PS - for a Bonus - How Great Thou Art by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Getting Ready for Youth Mass and Children's Choir ~ 11-24-13

Our next Youth Mass and Children's Choir performance is around the corner (Sunday, November 24th to be exact).

During the Gifts/Offering the children are singing "For the Fruits of This Creation".  Since we're still figuring out rehearsals, etc., I created a YouTube video to help the Children get used to their part.

"For the Fruits of This Creation"

For the fruits of this creation, Thanks be to God.  For the gifts of ev'ry nation, Thanks be to God.  For the plowing, sowing, reaping, Silent growth while we are sleeping, Future needs in earth's safe-keeping, Thanks be to God.

For the harvests of the Spirit, Thanks be to God.  For the good we all inherit, Thanks be to God.  For the wonders that astound us, For the truths that will confound us, Most of all, that love has found us, Thanks be to God.

Now on to the rest of the music for "Youth Mass" Sunday.

Thanks for visiting!  Reia

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Happy Birthday to My ~ First Baby Girl

A couple of years ago today (wink) my first baby girl was born.

She was bright, inquisitive and kept me on my toes from the moment she was born!

When her sister arrived a year later, she took her "big sister" duties seriously.

Now she's a wife and a mother of her own two little girls.

Happy Birthday, First Baby Girl!  I love you!  Mom

(Thanks for visiting ~ Reia)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Coupons ~ CVS ~ Happy Dance Back!

As I recover from Kroger stopping their doubling of coupons, an amazing blogger (http://novafrugalfamily.blogspot.com/) made me feel better.  She reminded me of CVS and I vowed to get to know CVS again.  Thank you for your ideas & encouragement!  (BTW - if you aren't following her blog - you really should - it's great!)

So - I headed to the CVS website and wow!  They've really made some changes.  The "Extra Care Offers" are grouped together making it so much easier to put deals together.  They're color-coded and everything!  For a visual person like myself - this is a wonderful improvement and helpful tool!

Thank you, CVS!

I'm excited about saving - again!  I've got my smile back on, I'm putting my coupons together and heading out to CVS tomorrow!  I'll let you know how it goes.

Now, I'm curious - what savings and deals are you working on this week?

Thanks for visiting ~ Reia

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Coupons ~ After the Doubling Stops

Yikes!  Kroger changed it's coupon policy and is no longer doubling coupons.

Now what?

I'm trying my best to be positive but I've got to admit - it's not easy.  For years, I've planned my shopping around those 50 cent coupons meaning a $1 savings to me.  No more - 50 cents now means 50 cents.  I know, I know, it's better than nothing and 50 cents is still a good savings.

Here are the positives I've come up with so far...

1)  Kroger mails me coupons tailored to what I actually buy - definitely a bonus.  The top left coupon in the photo below is $3 off of $15 in produce and the top right coupon is for $5 off of a $50 transaction.  I can certainly make good use of those.

2)  The 75 cent coupons that used to be in the back of my coupon box have now moved up to the front.

3)  I definitely need to make better use of Kroger's digital coupons.  I load them on my Kroger card and there's no need to carry my coupon box.  Not bad at all!

4)  Kroger's brand of products certainly look more desirable.  (Hmmm - wonder if that was part of their plan?)

Ok, I'm feeling a little better.  Any ideas to help me get past the "Coupon Doubling" withdrawal that I'm going through right now?  All hints and tips are appreciated!

Thanks for visiting ~ Reia

Sunday, November 3, 2013

It's All About the Young People

At our church, the last Sunday of every month is "Youth Mass" Sunday.  As the new Music Director, this is my second month to be involved.  I'm thrilled to tell you that October's Youth Mass was a great success!  

The Youth Group took the place of the adults and what a wonderful job they did!  The teens sat in the chairs where the Adult Choir normally sits.  The rest of the church's left side was filled with the children and their families.  It was truly a "Wow" moment in my life!

Plus - it was so much fun having a Youth Choir, Youth Lectors, Youth Ushers, etc.  A special part of the Mass was when the children came down to the front and sang "Seek Ye First" during the offering.

Since I was busy with the children and the youth, I didn't get any videos or recordings - hopefully the links below will give you an idea of what these incredible young people accomplished today.

One song requested by the Youth was "Rain Down" -  http://www.ocp.org/compositions/7881

My short recording of "Rain Down" - http://www.southcountrysides.com/mass/raindown.mp3 

My heart is full and very happy and...yes, I'm one thankful Music Director.  I love being part of an active, loving, giving Parish!

From my little corner of the world ~ Thanks for visiting!  Reia

PS - I have two groups to thank.

1)  Sandy and Salvador - what a difference you make with your guitars!  Thank you for bringing life and fun to our music!

2)  The Adult Choir - thank you for being a part of the Congregation during "Youth Mass" and allowing the Youth to participate.  You're the best!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Advent and Christmas ~ it's almost here!

It's time to prepare for Advent and Christmas.  As the new Music Director of our local Catholic Church I've gone back and forth with ideas.

I know I want it to be different from the past because - well - things have changed.  There are so many songs in our new Purple "United in Christ" book that we haven't explored yet.  So...first thing...make a cd of the songs we haven't sung before since that's the best way to rehearse when we can't formally rehearse often.

I'm not sure if you'll know any of them but here's the list of the songs and the YouTube links for the songs that we haven't sung before.

Sarasota - Advent at Church of the Palms by roger4336, on Flickr

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  roger4336 

Advent Songs
Awake, O Sleeper - 266
A Voice Cries Out – 271  

The Advent of Our King – 272
People, Look East – 274

Every Valley – 276

Creator of the Stars of Night – 277

Save Us, O Lord – 280

The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns – 285

O Come, Divine Messiah - 288

(By the way - Advent's all about a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas.)  I'm looking forward to Advent ~  I'll keep you posted about what we decide to sing from the list above.

Thanks for visiting ~ Reia