Sunday, November 22, 2015

Thankful for ~ my Husband

He can be funny, he can be serious and a bunch of other things.  He's incredibly - even scary -  smart.  Most of all - he's my staunchest supporter, my shoulder to lean on and my voice of reason.

Let me tell you a little about him.

He's a Dog Whisperer.  He is truly amazing with dogs!

He has a magic touch creating videos for Dance Recitals, my Piano Recitals, etc.


 He's beyond supportive.  All I have to do is ask him for his help & he's there.

Even down to putting together the many gadgets I bring home but
need help to make them work.


I'm blessed beyond measure.  It's been a fun, wild and crazy 20 something years with this man.  I'm looking forward to many more years.

Thanks for visiting ~ Reia

Friday, November 20, 2015

Thankful for ~ the Ability to Change

Day 20 - Today I'm thankful for the ability to do some of the following things...

1 - "U-Turns"... sometimes you just go down the wrong road.  Sometimes you're not sure which road to go down.  The good thing is - you don't have to keep going down the wrong road.  You can make a "U-Turn" at any point and head in a different, possibly better direction.

2 - "Change" - change the little things & the big things when they're not working or could work better.








3 - "Re-do's" - it's okay to realize the day, conversation, plans, etc. just aren't going right.  Stop, pause and have a "Re-do".  Re-word, Re-plan, Re-search for better ideas.  I think you get the idea.




I'm thankful that we're never "stuck" where we are, 
there's never "One Way" to do things and that we can always...Change


Thanks for visiting ~ Reia

Friday, November 13, 2015

Thankful for ~ the Internet

I know, I know - we take it for granted but today - I'm very thankful for the internet.  Why?  I'm glad you asked.

Today I used the internet to...

1)  Look for sheet music that my students have asked for.

2)  Written my family in "real" time as if they were in the next room.

3)  Written my choir members with information about an upcoming rehearsal.  Saved me multiple phone calls - yep, I love the internet.

4)  Tag some friends to enter them into a contest my daughter is holding.  (Yes, I love Facebook also.)  I'll be glad to add you to her class & tag you also. Essential Blueprints

5)  Downloaded a template I needed for a document.

6)  Checked my bank accounts & paid some bills.

7)  Updated our church's Facebook page. St. Stephen First Martyr Catholic Church

8)  Taught a piano lesson via Skype (probably my all time favorite use of Skype).

Used correctly - the internet is a blessing & I choose to use it in a positive way.  What are you thankful for today?

Thanks for visiting ~ Reia

Monday, November 9, 2015

Thankful for ~ My First Baby Girl!

Growing up I always wanted to be many things.  The one thing I wanted to be most of all was a mother.

On Nov. 9th (a couple of years ago) I was blessed with my first baby girl.  While not wanting to give her age away, we weren't told genders back then until we saw with our own eyes.  So my babies wore a lot of yellow & green.



The name Traci was in my heart.  Her middle name was the name I gave all of my dolls growing up.  As I read up on baby names later, Traci (with an "i" so she'd be unique) meant "fighter".  Yep, that fits.  Not "fighter" in a bad way though.  "Fighter" in a good way.  You know, going for what you want & believe in.

Urban Dictionary defines "Traci" as...a totally awesome woman who knows what she wants.



Yep, that's my Traci also.  I always said even from the age of 3 she could "rule a small country".  Before she could barely walk as a toddler, she was putting the merchandise back in the right places when we'd go to the store.



When she was barely over one, Mama was visiting.  They were at the kitchen table.  Traci said, "Kit-ty!"  Mama said, "No, Traci, the kitty is outside."  About that time the "Kit-ty" came bounding out from under the table at them.  Mama learned fast to trust what Traci said - Traci knew what she was saying.



I have many good memories & stories about my first baby girl.  I think of them often.



I'm even prouder of the woman, wife, mother, career-woman that she's become.


Happy Birthday & I love you, Traci!  



Thanks for visiting ~ Reia


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Thankful for ~ my Choir(s)

Yes, the weekend is over.  We rehearsed, we sang, we smiled, we hugged, we went on our way.  Another weekend in the books.

I don't always get the chance to tell each individual what unique qualities I see in them, what actions I appreciate and how very special they are.  I try but time restraints don't always allow me to say what I'm really feeling.

So I'm going to list a few of the things I absolutely love & appreciate about this diverse but loving group of amazing individuals.  (This includes those of you who have moved on to other pastures and those of you who sit with your families instead of in the front row at my elbow.  This also includes Deacon Doug who has a lovely voice but has his own special chair near the altar.)

I absolutely love...

1)  ...your Zeal!  You run right into new songs.  Who needs multiple practices on new songs - not you!  You run right into every new song & embrace it.  I Love you for that!

2)  ...your Ideas!  You come up with song ideas, ways to work the songs, good ideas about entrances, exits, preludes and so much more!

3)  ...your Thoughtfulness!  You pour over our Liturgy Today song selections.  You search YouTube for songs you don't know & songs you'd like to learn.  You send me links to share what you've found.  You put time and thought into our Music Program - all the time.  Talk about putting a smile on my face!

There are many other reasons that you hold a special place in my heart.  I'll try to tell you more often in the future.

For now - on Day 8 - I'm Thankful for YOU!

Thanks for visiting ~ Reia

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Thankful for ~ my St. Stephen Catholic Church Family

I've been at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Hinesville, GA since September 2010.  I haven't missed a Sunday since arriving.  I've fallen in love with the people and what they do.

Let me tell you a few reasons why...

1)  It's happening now - Thanksgiving Boxes.  Paper bags with items needed are on a table in the Narthex.  Paper bags containing the items needed are constantly being brought back.  In a few weeks the youth will fill the multitude of boxes with the items to make a full Thanksgiving Dinner (to include the turkey).  Many families will be blessed.  That's huge to me!



2)  As soon as the Thanksgiving Boxes go to needy homes - the Angel Tree will be up. These same giving people that filled the Thanksgiving Boxes will take paper angels off the tree and go buy the items families need for Christmas.  It's all secret so dignity is kept.  We had a really rough year a few years ago and were recipients of the Angel Tree.  I can't tell you how much help it was.


3)  Christmas at St. Stephen's - is meaningful and beautiful!  While it's a marathon for me as the Music Director, it's keeps the miracle of Christmas ever present.

Rehearsals leading up to our Joint Choir Christmas Concert and then the Masses begin.  Children's Christmas Eve Mass at 5pm, Concert before Midnight Christmas Eve Mass begins, Christmas Eve Mass, Christmas Day Mass, St. Stephen Day on the 26th (The song Good King Wenceslas makes more sense now), Sunday Masses then a break until two Masses on New Years' Eve and New Year's Day Mass.  Whew!  We sing a LOT from Dec. 24th through Jan. 1st!


St. Stephen Catholic Church - is full of loving, giving people that accepted me over five (5) years ago and allowed me to "jump in" and give along with them.  I've just mentioned two (2) months worth of activities.  There are many more...Winterfest, Youth Group, Craft Days, the Meditation Garden, Men's Club providing us Boston Butts and Chicken Dinners as fundraisers and a lot more.


Thanks for visiting and feel free to visit St. Stephen Catholic Church in person.  You'll find me at the keyboard above - my special little corner of the world.  Reia

Friday, November 6, 2015

Thankful for ~ My Piano Students and their Families

Today (& every day actually) I'm thankful for my piano students and their families.  Here's love pouring out to my students & their families!

0066 by RLFilipkowski, on Flickr
by  RLFilipkowski 

I've met and spent time with so many wonderful families.  They've enriched my life and I've learned so much from them.

There really aren't adequate words for the love I've experienced from them.  Whether in their home or my studio - our weekly visits contain way more than instruction time.

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License
Here are some of the things I've learned and experienced...

1)  Look in your flip flops before you stick your foot in them - there might be a fake but oh so real looking tarantula waiting to surprise you... and it did.

2)  Be prepared, encourage and celebrate the "light bulbs" going off in the minds of students.  It's a fabulous experience and makes the hard work worth it for all involved.

3)  Everyone learns in a different way.  Find each student's way to learn and build your lesson around their way.  It's more work but the rewards are gold!

4)  When teaching in homes, you get to enjoy the family pets as well as the families.  I've met some precious puppies, kittens, gerbils, fish, big dogs, little dogs, cats that sit and stare at you while you teach, puppies that would love to be in your lap or sit patiently at your feet.  I wouldn't trade these experiences for anything!

5)  You get amazing gifts from your students.  I've been given seashells, artwork, candy, pencils, rocks, you name it - if it's important to a young person, it's been lovingly given to me.

There are many other things that I've learned and experienced but I'll keep this post brief.

6)  I've learned that if you let people know you truly, truly care about them - the following quote is true.  Here's to turning a life around - my life gets turned around every week & I love it!


“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a
listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all
of which have the potential to turn a life around.” 


Thanks for visiting ~ Reia

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Thanksgiving Countdown ~ Playing "Catch Up"!

I love seeing what others are thankful for.  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of all holidays.  I've rarely done the "countdown" though.  Thought this year would be a good year to actually do it.  I have a few days to be "Thankful" for (um - "catch up").

Here goes...

1 - I'm thankful for my family.  One good husband of over 20 years plus children that are raising good families = something to be thankful for.

2 - Music.  Music fills my heart and is my way to earn a living for my family.  A total "win-win" - I spend my days teaching others and being enriched along the way.  Total blessing in my life!

3 - NPR.  My touch of sanity & whimsy depending on what show is on.

4 - Extended family.  I'm so very thankful for my extended family.  They know the challenge I face every day because...I'm taking care of my siblings's mother (also known as my mother).  I love my aunts, uncles, in-laws and the families that extend even further with cousins, etc.

5 - YouTube - the place where I find songs to share with my choirs & where I get to listen to music, sermons, etc. that fill my soul with good things.

Until tomorrow (day #6) - may you be blessed & "Thankful" for something in your life.

Thanks for visiting ~ Reia

Sunday, July 19, 2015

It's Been a Week!

Some weeks float by and some weeks stampede you like a herd of elephants just ran over you.  I'm doing my best to make good use of the last few days we have before school begins again.

My career path often means periods of little if any income so to think that school will begin soon makes me smile & think we'll be able to keep our bills paid.  That said - I'm thankful for the money I saved up for Summer & the down time I have to get things ready for my "busy season".

Choir wise - I was able to create a "Rehearsal cd" for my choirs and for others that want to learn the songs that I'm incorporating into our portfolio of songs.  I don't know if I have a favorite but this song keeps going through my head & I keep singing it.



Piano student wise - I've been finding new songs, etc. for my students.  I've want to keep them motivated and excited about adding new skills, etc.

I hope your week was smooth & you're ready for a fantastic week ahead!

Thanks for visiting! ~ Reia

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Angels and Ornaments ~ the Questions I Would Ask...

One of the Hallmark Christmas movies that was new to me last year was "Angels and Ornaments" .  I watched it over & over and it's stayed on my mind a lot.  This movie always brings up a lot of thoughts and emotions for me.



What I wouldn't give to have my grandparents around at the age I am now.

As a passionate genealogist - I remember the portraits that hung in my paternal grandmother's home.  I saw them every week, I knew they were family and now they're a blur.  I never even asked who they were.

My maternal grandmother lost her mother when she was 8 years old.  I know that resulted in a drastic change for her life.  I only discovered this recently as I worked on that branch of my family tree.

My youngest daughter remarks often on the amount of questions I'm capable of asking.   My answer is - "Intelligent minds want to know". 

So as I watch this movie of a grandfather that never got to know his child or his granddaughter, I'm reminded of my own grandparents and how much they meant to me, the role they played in my life and the questions I wish I could ask them.  May I be the grandparent my grandchildren need - now and after I'm gone.


Thanks for visiting ~ Reia

Friday, June 5, 2015

Dreams do come true!

I spent a lot of my childhood dreaming of being the "wife" of a church Music Director.  Never once did I consider that I could be the "Music Director".





Well -  today I am the Music Director at our local Catholic Church.
Yes, I pinch myself every day!


Listen to Angels We Have Heard On High (sung by the Joint Choir of St. Stephen First Martyr Catholic Church).



Dream big!  Live your life expecting the best!  It does happen.
What dream do you have that is bigger than you are right now?

Thanks for visiting ~ Reia

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Catholic Playlist ~ Contemporary Music

As the Music Director at our local Catholic Church, I'm always searching for new music, new ideas, new artists - anything to help me keep the music relevant and life changing.

I discovered this touching, full of life website - podcast - radio show.  It touches my heart, gives me hope and makes me smile.  (In case you're wondering you don't have to be Catholic to enjoy the music.  I'm a Bible believing Protestant that's worshiping with my Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ and I love the music.)



Anyway - I wanted to share my find with you!  Here's the link - Catholic Playlist

And...the good news - there's a new playlist every week.

Enjoy!  Thanks for visiting!  Reia

Monday, May 25, 2015

Essential Oils ~ One Reason I Love Young Living Essential Oils...

One of the many reasons I love being a wholesale member of Young Living Essential Oils is their Seed to Seal guarantee.  They plant, cultivate, distill, test & seal the oils.  Then I get to buy them.



Each month we get updates on what's going on at the different farms.  I love reading about the farms and what's being planted, etc.  The Young Living Essential Oils have made a huge difference in my life (and my family's life).   I have many favorites and they're favorites for different reasons.

Just wanted to share the farms with you.



  Young Living Global Farms


More updates to follow - feel free to ask questions and I'll do my best to explain why I love certain oils and how they support my healthy body systems.

Thanks for visiting! ~ Reia  (YL #2389165)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

It's been a while...

Ya know the clock just keeps ticking - it doesn't seem to mind what's going on in life - it just keeps ticking.

Life also has a funny way of reminding you of the important things.  This last Friday, my husband dropped me off for our weekly weekend rental of a second car - thanks to Enterprise & their $9.99/day weekend special.   Bill dropped me off  - I heard a loud "ka-pow".  I smugly told the wonderful Enterprise people - "looks like you're going to get some more business" not realizing that I was that business.

Thankfully my husband was safe - the damage was to the truck box.  He did see his life pass before him though.



Since Friday - we have a pre-approved loan for a very inexpensive car, the truck was totaled & we have a check available tomorrow, we said goodbye to a Ford Ranger that was very good to us for 8 years and we're searching for "next".

You never know what's around the corner for you, so glad I pray every day for God's protection and help in our lives.

Hope this finds you well.   Reia

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Blessed Assurance ~ Jesus is Mine

I was reminded tonight of a treasured - old - hymn... "Blessed Assurance".  I play it often - it has a nice 9/8 time signature which bounces along & is upbeat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9XZ_HSquUQ

I realized tonight how special the hymn has always been in my life.


  1. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
    Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
    Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
    Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
    • Refrain:
      This is my story, this is my song,
      Praising my Savior all the day long;
      This is my story, this is my song,
      Praising my Savior all the day long.
  2. Perfect submission, perfect delight,
    Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
    Angels, descending, bring from above
    Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
  3. Perfect submission, all is at rest,
    I in my Savior am happy and blest,
    Watching and waiting, looking above,
    Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

Thanks for visiting ~ Reia