Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Once You Climb Up a Mountain...

This song keeps going through my head today from the musical Footloose, in which I was the piano accompanist for the high school kids. One of the songs was sung about the advice his momma would give... "Momma said once you climb up a mountain you can't back down."  I guess I would change the words a bit to say... once you climb up a mountain you have to come back down...

That got me to thinking about mountains and the last time I drove over a mountain pass, in a rental car, in November, on the way to California. (I love prepositional phrases by the way :&)), which started me thinking about other things, which led me to write this....

Mountain in Breckenridge, CO

What possessed me to drive over Wolf Creek Pass (near Pagosa Springs, CO) towards the end of November to get to California, I will never know. The weather was beautiful in the valley. The sun was shining and the last time I had gone through Wolf Creek Pass was during the summer and it was beautiful. IF I could I would retire to Pagosa Springs. By the time we got to Wolf Creek Pass, the sun was still shining, the little rental car was driving great, but the mountain pass was snow packed. I slowed my speed and made it up the mountain. The problem came on the downgrade. I started going way too fast!!! And "gasp" there was a slow car in front of me and a steep drop off on the left hand side of the road. I started to brake and felt the car slipping. I knew (somehow) that if I tried to pass I would probably go off the "deep end" (Not that I already wasn't). I also somehow knew that I needed to SLOW DOWN. I prayed a quick prayer and knocked the gears down to a lower gear, steered the car to the right, went off the road a little bit and bumped the side of the mountain wall on the right. Whew! Disaster averted.

Many sometimes complain how hard it was to "climb" their mountain. Another song, sung by a dear Christian family, says, "Life is easy when you're up on the mountain. And you've got peace of mind like you've never known...You talk of faith when you're up on the mountain" Many people associate the top of the mountain with victory.
Knowing that you have climbed a mountain is quite an accomplishment. I have a few friends who have climbed to the top of Pikes Peak and when they made it to the top, have found out that there's not much oxygen up there... but oh the feeling and joy, knowing that they made it to the top.

But don't forget... everybody has to come back down the mountain at some point. And coming back down the mountain is no easy feat either. Steep downgrades and sharp curves, trying to slow down to keep from falling or getting in an accident are just a few of the obstacles in coming back down. Fear, is another obstacle to overcome. I have major vertigo and am very much afraid of heights. My depth perception is off so when I look down, the distance looks a lot higher to me.  Even stepping off a stair is quite often difficult.

Victory comes not just from making to the top of a mountain. Victory comes from making it back down to the valley. The climb up the mountain took a lot of energy, but the victory hasn't been won yet. Take your time going down the mountain, don't speed, downshift as necessary and enjoy the scenery. The valley is waiting just ahead, the sun will be shining, visibility has returned...see the fruits of your labor. Victory at last.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Be the Ball

Ball: definition:  a round object used in games and sports.

Be on the ball
Have a ball
Get the ball rolling
Play ball!

Be the Ball? I'm talking about the balls that get used to play sports: footballs, basketballs, volley balls, golf balls, ping-pong balls, baseballs, bowling balls and tether balls.
Why would I want to be the ball? Balls get bounced, tossed around, hit, rolled and kicked. Nothing nice ever happens to the ball. I cannot imagine what the NBA games or the Superbowl, or Tiger Woods would be without a ball. Such a seemingly insignificant, ordinary object but essential to the game.

Watching that little bouncy ball roll down the street the other day started me contemplating about how much life is like being a ball. Often in our lives we are bounced, tossed around, kicked, hit and sometimes lost - left to roll down a street, seemingly nowhere on the busy road of life. Wondering at any moment if the next hit, or kick or throw is going to be the one that "wins the game" or if we are going to be squished by the next car that comes along and runs us over.

                    2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (my paraphrase) We get tossed, kicked, hit and bounced on a daily basis . We don't understand, but we trust the Master. Life hurts but we are not alone. Sometimes the game is lost but we never, ever quit.

                   The Message says: We've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized; we're not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we've been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn't left our side; we've been thrown down, but we haven't been broken.

                 The English Standard Version says: We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed, perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.

I watched yesterday as that little ball landed in a pothole and missed being squished by the car. I was reminded once again how God in his grace and mercy watches over us and protects us. We may not know how the game will be played.  But we can know that the Champion Player knows how to "play" the game. He knows how to "take on" the rival team and He knows how to "win"

                2 Corthinians 4: 16-18 (My Paraphrase). So we keep on playing. We keep on being the ball. We may lose air and go flat. We may lose our bounciness or be let go to roll down the street. But God sees us and through His grace and mercy - he keeps us in the game. Being bounced, hit, tossed, and kicked will seem like nothing when He finally retrieves us and takes us home. This game only lasts for a short time. It's the game that lasts for eternity that matters.

               The Message  16-18So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever

              English Standard Version - So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renesed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comprehension, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bounce On Bouncy Ball

  The funniest thing I've seen in a long time happened yesterday, just outside of Michaels over on the west side of Colorado Springs. Me and my daughter came out of the store and my daughter stopped me and said, "Look, Mom!" Two grown women suddenly stopped on the sidewalk and stared at this teeny, tiny (probably) about an inch big, rubber bouncy ball, rolling along down the road. The ball rolled about 20 feet or so until it got to the intersection and landed, ker-plop, in a pothole - right at the same time that a car came whizzing by. I thought for sure that the poor little ball was going to be squished. My daughter and I walked to the intersection. I couldn't see the ball that well since it blended in with the road, after all, it was a black bouncy ball. My daughter could see it though and walked into the intersection to retrieve it. Fortunately, there wasn't that much traffic. I asked her if it had been squished and she said "No, it's just dirty." I took the ball, wiped it off and kept it.

What a journey that little black, bouncy ball had gone on. I don't know where it came from. If some little kid had just bought it from a gumball machine from a store up the road from Michaels? Maybe Ross or PetsMart? Did the little kid drop it? Was he now crying because he or she felt like they had lost a treasure? How did that little ball get on the road? Where did it come from?  What dangers had it encountered before it got to this one particular intersection? How fortutitous for there to be a pothole to fall into at the same time that a car came along... Who knew that two women standing on the side of the road would be so enchanted at the sight of a little ball whizzing by that we would go and rescue it?

Isn't that just like life? Who knows why we are here for such a time as this? Who knows that those times when we feel like we have come to a standstill, (in a pothole so to speak), that God might only be protecting us? Who knows when that day will be when God will retrieve us, wipe the dirt off of us and take us home? In return, those who have not ended their journey feel like they have lost a treasure. Meanwhile, we carry on because there is still much more work to do!

Work, for the Day is coming,
  Day in the Word foretold,
When, 'mid the scenes triumphant,
  Longed for by saints of old,
He, who on earth a stranger
  Traversed its paths of pain,
Jesus, the Prince, the Savior,
  Comes evermore to reign

Be the Ball!!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Tired: It's a Good Feeling

Boy howdy, I'm tired. Too pooped to poop! Yet, it's a good feeling. I am being productive. I am earning my nights rest. I no longer sit up till 3 a.m. because I didn't do anything during the day. Nowadays, I am in bed by 9 or 9:30 pm. What brought on the change? I started student teaching and I'm loving every minute of it and learning a lot. Student teaching is a full time job. I am totally immersed into the "life" of a teacher. I must work all the contract hours that a licensed teacher does and take on all the duties that a licensed teacher does - even hall duty or after school duty. I must take on one or two extracurricular activities... so I go to the Scapbooking Club... hee, hee. Lots of fun though. The kiddoes are what makes the tiredness worthwhile.

I am working with the Special Education students who have significant learning disabilities, emotional/behavioral disorders, and/or orthopedic impairments. I just had my first evaluation and got a proficiency rating. As with any endeavor, practice can only make one practically perfect.

On top of student teaching... the six puppies that were born six weeks ago are a bounding, bouncy, bundle of energy and full of poop and pee. I think I follow them around with the 409 bottle and papertowels cleaning up their messes. They are doing better about peeing on the potty pads. I thought it amusing today, when I walked out to the living room the first time, I noticed a puddle near their puppy pen. A few hours later, I went back to the living room and one or more of the puppies had dragged their potty pad and put it over their pee puddle. I guess I am modeling to them how to clean up their messes... or is that wishful thinking?

This is Gizmo... One of the little puppies that will be going to a new home in a few weeks. He will be loved and spoiled in his new home but greatly missed. It's amazing how attached you get to these little guys.
I am in the mood to cook but I need some recipes that are fast and easy to cook... So if any of you have any send them this way okay? I also need ideas of lunches to take to work.

In the process of planning my first Stampin Up workshop... if you are interested in coming let me know...

Well... enough of it being a lazy Sunday... time to get up and do laundry so I have something to wear to school... sigh... work, work, work, zzzzzzzzzz

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010 New and Old Traditions

     Christmas in the Mussack household doesn't just happen on Christmas Day but actually begins a few months before (Octoberish) when my planning sensors start ringing warning bells reminding me that the holidays are just around the corner. I love this season from mid-October until mid-Jan. The season includes not just the major celebration days Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas but my birthday, my sons' birthday, my husbands and mine anniversary (27 years this year!) and my parents anniversary in mid-January (59 years for them - wow!).

I love picking out the gifts for my family and though I may complain a lot about how it doesn't feel like Christmas and I get blue... that is only because I get so nostalgic for Christmas past - when the children were small and the excitement of keeping secrets and watching their faces light up at their Santa presents, and seeing them eagerly soaking in the Christmas story of the babe born in the manger and the true reason for the season. Forget them not being able to sleep... I wasn't able to sleep... my dear husband had to hold me back a couple of times from waking them at 3 am to go open presents.

This year was stressful and my husband was away at work and the youngest is stationed overseas, my Dad is in a nursing home and the dog was pregnant. But I had my daughter and son-in-law and my oldest son here with me and Christmas was still wonderful and exciting. Different though... but I am grateful for any chance I have to spend time with my family. We forego the traditional turkey or ham and made pot roast... Kim says she is going to start this tradition with her family and tell her children that they are having the Who Rare Roast Beast (from the Grinch)!

Everyone was happy with the sacrifices made and money spent to get the gifts that was received. I got Kimberly a bunch of little things, sweater from Target, home decorations, etc. Brent got his traditional annual lottery tickets. I think he won back about $10. (Oh well)... JD got his new leather jacket that fits him perfectly.

Santa sent me a CRICUT IMAGINE... I was so happy... Huge hugs and kisses to Santa.
JD got me a waffle iron... I have been craving Belgian Waffles and now I can make my own.
The dog gave me the best gift of all - two days after Christmas she gave birth to six adorable Chizer puppies (Chihuahua - Mini-Schnauzer mix)

I wish I could've been two places at once this year because I would've really have liked to be with my Dad, Mom, and brothers and sister. I miss them and Dad is not in the best of health.

Then the best time of all - the day after Christmas... after Christmas shopping - when Kim and I stock up on seasonal decorations for next year because after all... Christmas will continue on and on and on as long as we keep it in our hearts, start new traditions, and remember that the best part is being with those with we love!

The 2010 Christmas tree... We had to put all of the presents in the bay window because of all the dogs.

The Build - A- Bear box is to me from Kim. Another tradition I have is when one of my children leave home I have them get me a Build-A-Bear and put a voice recording in it. Then when I get lonely I play the sound of their voice and it makes me feel closer to them.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


  Making two scrapbook layouts of a younger me and a younger hubby and making Thanksgiving cards made me reflect on how truly grateful I am for everything. Grateful that David has a job, grateful that I get to travel and see my daughter, grateful for my parents, sister, brothers, aunts and uncles, cousins (of whom I have plenty), mother-in-law, brothers-in-law, my dogs, my kids (definitely my kids).

JD cleaned out one of the Jeeps for me today and bought it a drawing pad that belonged to Kimberly. I opened it up and lo and behold there were all her drawings and ideas for her wedding to the first guy she was engaged too. Made me think how grateful I am that God's plan are not necessarily our plans. He has all things in control and takes care of the details if we just put our trust in Him. (Proverbs 3: 5-8) She is now married to a wonderful man who loves her very much.

Here's the cards I made: just using leftovers of paper, ribbon, rub-ons, Stampin Up acorn stamp, markers, etc.

Card #1

Card #2


I am grateful for:

Gods grace, goodness and greatness because He has given me

Richly, all things, salvation and many blessings

And for this

Truly thankful I am;

Enjoying life each and every moment of each and every day

Filled with His Spirit from above

Underneath the shelter of His wings and His encompassing


Never enough my frail human cries out

Everlasting Father, eternal God

Save me, keep me

Shepherd of my soul.

by: Deborah Mussack 10/29/2002

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Times They Are A-Changin Again.

Today is a day of celebration - of sorts - mixed with sadness. I have finished all my classes in my Masters of Special Education. Turned in the last final assignment today. Yea!!!! I am happy. I honestly can't believe I have finished and have been approved to start student teaching in the spring semester. Where has the time gone? Seems like only yesterday, I had started my Associates in Degree. I feel like the eternal student.

Then I feel sad cuz I have made so many new friends during this course and it is hard to say goodbye - especially to my team mates. Hopefully, we will be able to keep in touch. I still keep in touch with many of my fellow classmates from my Bachelors Degree.

Note: my classes were online... so if you comment to my blog with substantive replies you will keep me from feeling sad since I will have someone to discuss things with... :>)

So.. on to another chapter in my life...Student Teaching and who knows?? By this time next year, maybe Special Education Teacher. Wow! Gulp...