Friday, November 30, 2007

AM~Erica Holiday Madness



So anyway...

I realize it's been way too long since I've posted, but if I've had any "down time", I've been down on the couch...asleep. (Just ask my hubby.) So here's an update if anyone is still out there...

Traveled back to KC to see the fam for Thanksgiving. We saw a LOT of them, but it was nice anyway. Plus I got to put up 3 trees this year! YEA!!! I've been dying to do this for so long. I have been so inspired by Merillac's Enchanted Forest at Union Station (originally Longview Festival of Trees). My mom & I have gone every year except one. This year was no different. I will try to post pics of my trees next go around.

The Hanging of the Greens is happening this weekend at church. Since our Contemporary worship has decided to have a Hanging of the Green, too, and they wanted to have my dancers - with a whole new song - I have been trying to figure out how to not stress out my dancers with a new dance, but still use them...so...I am doing most of the dancing in Contemporary, and they will do the "traditional" dance in all 4 of the traditional services. Oh, this includes the Saturday night service. This means I can only use about 4 of my 10 dancers, and it's right after dress rehearsal, too. Oh, and this only takes place right after breakfast with Santa in the AM. OK - back to the dance...my dancers will only bring in a couple of things during the dance...especially since they come into practice late, have to leave early, and, oh yeah...they haven't even stuck around long enough to hear the song for Contemporary. This will be great fun!!

"Once Upon A Mattress" is getting there. It has to since dress rehearsals are Monday & Tuesday, final dress rehearsal/preview show on Wednesday afternoon, and shows on Thursday & Friday night. WHEW!!

I am counting the days until Saturday, December 8. Why?? I will be through with the madness!!

But the job is going well.

Stay tuned...please...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Insane AM~Erica



So Anyway...

Things have been crazy, but productive.

It looks like I have remained in the same room at work now, so a little more consistancy. I am working with 1 - 1 ½ year olds.

Oh, and Christian LOVES school! I am so happy about it! And we have made real progress with potty training today. We will keep encouraging!!

The choreography is coming along for the play...only 1 song behind & trying to figure out where to make it up. The play is only Dec. 5-7 & I've done 2 of 6 songs & only 3 practices a week. YIKES! We'll get there!

Tomorrow I begin the Hanging of the Green dance...only 3 rehearsals to do this song in. It shouldn't be a prob. We'll see how this one goes...

And a big B-Day shout out to Hubby!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HONEY!!

I baked banana nut muffins this AM for him, a German Chocolate cake this afternoon, and a loaf of pumpkin bread. I'm done baking for a while!

OK...stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Friday, November 2, 2007

AM~Erica Countdown to Craziness...




So anyway...




My job is going well! And the Halloween party was fun! I have no idea who won the teacher costume contest, but it obviously wasn't me. Oh well, I know how to plan for next year...work the parents of the kids! Apparently, that's who vote. It was fun creeping some people out anyway.





Then, off to dress as Her Royal Highness, The Queen of Manchster for Sir Ethan's medeival birthday party, and sister, Liz, as the Royal Court Jester, "Candy". My mom made the most amazing castle cake, too!!


























Oh! Here are the invite pics I promised, too! We put info on both sides of half a sheet of paper, tea/coffee stained it, then rolled them into scrolls:






































Now, I must shift my focus (HA!) to all of the dancing..."Once Upon A Mattress" dance rehearsals begin on Monday; Hanging of the Green dance rehearsals begin 1-week from Sunday. I guess I should figure out the dances now, eh?




Oh, I must share the most amazing Halloween! Some of our friends from the church invited us to go to a family gathering & go trick-or-treating with them. We felt weird because we didn't want to intrude on "family time", but we didn't know what else to do in this new place, so we went...and it was like a magical scene out of a movie or TV show! The trees were just colored & a lot of leaves to step on & hear the crunch, the weather had just a chill in the air, neighbors were getting together for bonfires in yards, people handing out candy asked the kids to tell a joke first (apprarently it's a thing around here), and there were children in costumes EVERYWHERE!! It was amazing! Christian got the hang of it after about 2 houses. Oone of our friends' kids, Abby, came as a Candy Corn Witch (which her mother made), and the other, Audrey, wore a black dress, pearls, had a black updo wig, golves & carried a "Tiffany's" sack for her candy...yep, she was Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's". They were awesome, too!



Here's a pic of our kids & "me" (really, it's Trish Barnett - a homemaker visiting from Stepford, CT).







There's also Sir Ethan of the Round Table, Liz as Princess Winnefred from "Once Upon A Mattress", and Christian as a monkey (we also lead him around with his monkey backpack/leash, so there was a little monkey on his back). Aren't they adorable?


Whew! Things are insane!


Stay tuned as things progress...


God Bless, AM~Erica

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

AM~Erica Whirlwind



So anyway...

I'm full swing in my job now. My schedule varies everyday, and I am floating room-to-room most of the time. Christian LOVES his school! He gets so excited when we pull into the parking lot!

Lizzie is having fun with her play, " Once Upon A Mattress". As it turns out, their choreographer was pregnant & due mid to late December, but she delivered 10 weeks early. YIKES!! So, that left the middle school play without a choreographer, right?? Well, guess who was asked to step up & take on the role! Yep! Yours truly! This will be so much fun! I've already done a high school version of "Pippin" and "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe". I met with the director, and will start my rehearsals in November, when the rehearsal times get longer. So exciting!

Oh! I was also asked to take over the traditional "candle dance" for our church's Hanging of the Greens service. No pressure there! So I will be doing that throughout November, too.

In the meantime, I am cleaning my house for my mom & dad to come visit for Ethan's 10th (boo-hoo, sniffle-sniffle) b-day on Sunday. She is designing the coolest cake for him. He is going to have a Medieval party with knights & princesses on Saturday afternoon. I will get pics of the invites and put them up. That's about as crafty as I get (mom & Heidi)!! Ethan & I tea/coffee stained the invites to look old. They turned out so awesome!

Before the party happens on Saturday, it turns out my workplace holds their Halloween party on the Saturday AM prior to the holiday. This is so that any families who do not want their kids to participate in the party are not really left out. This way, they don't have to come to the 2-hour event. However, this is their 1 big social gathering every year (the whole 2½ years they've been open). So, all employees are supposed to participate, but I've been given the option since I JUST came on. So I think I will since I will get paid for it. Then my mom (and maybe dad) can come up with Chris to see where I work. Plus, there is a costume contest for the teachers...YEA!! It's what I live for!

Whew! Got lots going on, and very little time to do it in. I will do my best to keep up my posts during the craziness.

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

AM~Erica Gets Jobbed!



So anyway...

It's Official!!

Here's how it breaks down:

* The preschool went out & pulled my resume & contacted me

* The job is mine if I want it, I just need to give the OK

* The preschool can get me on the schedule on Monday

* There will be benefits & holiday pay

* There will be pay starting next week

* There is a place for Christian to be

* I will be working with kids

OK ~ bottom line is ... I've accepted the position!

The other position would be great, but I don't even interview until next week, that still leaves me without childcare, I don't know if there would be benefits, etc. The point is, the preschool wants me now! And, I would still have $$ from each paycheck for anything extra we would need...even after paying for discounted daycare. Plus, it just felt right.

Prayers are appreciated as I begin this new transistion in the continuation of newness in our lives in StL!

Love you all & stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

AM~Erica Insanity

So anyway...


Things have been a little crazy around here. Could you tell since I haven't posted anything in over a week?



Oh, where to start.....hmmm...



Just over a week ago, my hubby had a conference in KC, so we all went to see family & such while he was doing his thing. We never thought about the fact that HE would have the mode of transportation. We got to spend time with family, so it was nice; we also had my mom-in-law fighting having to go to the ER from severe back pain. She didn't want to go to the ER because we were in town. We all made her go.



Then, we got a call this past week (I believe it was Wednesday) that my mom-in-law was unresponsive, so they had to take her back to the ER. This time they admitted her. So, we surprised her by going back to KC for moral support (although she thought she was dying when she saw us walk into the room). She has a growth on her pancreas, and they want to know what it is - it's been rumored to be her spleen regenerating or a tumor. They have to do a biopsy to find out, but they haven't done it yet, but they are supposed to do it today...and yes, she's been in the hospital this whole time...getting test, after test, after test...etc. You have to understand that there is a lot of health issues going on with her, so EVERYTHING has to be monitored. She needs prayers....a lot of them. We had to come back on Sunday so the kids could get back to school, and my hubby had a dr. appt. of his own. So we await news from afar...



When we got back home, there was a message on our answering machine from someone who got my resume on CareerBuiler, and wanted to talk to me. No, they didn't want me to sell insurance; it's a preschool in the area. Well, I called them & they wanted me to come in to fill out an application. I did that yesterday, along with a tour of the facilities & an impromtu interview. What's to come of it? The job is pretty much mine & she told me she could schedule me next week if I'M interested. Whoa! Did you hear that? Oh, yeah...because of my previous expierence, they want to start me at a higher wage than their typical start, plus benefits kick in after 90 days, plus Christian will have daycare. Why haven't I picked up the phone to say "Sign me up"? I have a job interview set up for next week at a nearby church.

A few weeks ago, a staff member at our church called me to see if I was still job hunting. When I told her I was, she said there was a job posting in her local paper for a nearby United Methodist Church needing an office manager. When I asked my hubby about the church (he's in the know), it turns out I know the senior pastor there. For the last 5-6 years, she has always told me to never change & always be myself...especially being a pastor's wife. That has stayed in my head, so I was so excited to hear it is her church (she came over to the StL side from KC the same time we did). Plus, our church's lay leader, who is also attending seminary, is doing her residency at this church as the associate pastor.

So, I am torn. I am trying to figure out whether I should wait for the other interview, or jump on the present opportunity. I am in deep prayer and consideration right now.

I do have to share with you my "God-Moment" from yesterday. It's a brisk & crisp fall Monday morning, and I have just seen by daughter onto the bus at 6:48 AM, and as I walk back home, by way of the church parking lot, to get my son ready for his bus, I looked over to my left, and there is a doe watching me & she's about 15 feet away from me. She was beautiful and serene, but she is still wild, and I have to walk past her to get home...I was hoping she didn't have to attack me. I walked slowly by & tried not make too much eye contact so she would know I wasn't a threat. She took a step back, and I knew she was either scared, or she was getting ready to attack me. As I put together a plan in my head incase of the attack, she just watched me & I began to watch her...I then realized there were two smaller deer, just past fawn stage, about 30 feet behind her. It was beautiful. Then I got home to get the trash to the curb, and realized we have a rose growing in our yard - a big deep magenta rose in full bloom...I got to stop and smell it.

It's amazing what God puts in front of us, and we never realize it. But isn't it beautiful when we do see it?

Oh yeah, in the midst of this, I am trying to plan a birthday party for my son (who is going to be 10 - boo hoo), prepare for Halloween, and guests from out-of-town (my side of the fam). Whew!

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Monday, October 8, 2007

AM~Erica Presents: Near Escape


So anyway...

After reading a couple of posts concerning my youngest's knack for escaping, you will understand why we now own a monkey back-pack leash & have added alarms to the front door, back door and the door going into the garage that makes a horrible chirpping noise when the door is opened while the alarm is set. Our basement door came with a dead bolt lock located very high up.

With that being said, here's what happened:


This one night, I believe it was a Monday, I was exhausted, my hubby was channel surfing & we were talking about stuff, and the kids were playing the PlayStation in older boy's room - this was after we had been to the store as a family. It was getting close (actually past) bedtime, so my hubby started getting the kids around, and I had to try to finish up some laundry in the basement that I forgot about; I heard crazy running around upstairs and got a bit irritated since they were so riled up at bedtime, when my hubby threw open the basement door & asked if lil guy was down there with me...he wasn't...

We looked in all of the weird places he likes to hide, we tried to find new ones. The last place we knew of was in the bedroom watching the kids play the game. None of the alarms had gone off, so we didn't think he'd gone outside, but we thought we'd check the doors anyway...the alarm wasn't reset on the door going to the garage. We forgot to reset it when we came in, so we figured he was playing in the garage...GRRR...so...we opened the door...and found...the garage door open! Apparently a broom had fallen into the laser path of the garage door opener sensor & never closed! GULP!!

Little boy...new town...after 10:00 @ night...how did he get past all of us?? We are replaying the night in our heads: were the kids too into their game to see him leave the room?; were we too into our conversation to hear the door to the garage being opened? So, I did what any mom would do - I ran out of the house to search for him! Teen Girl? Hysterically crying & SCREAMING his name through the neighborhood, so much so that she fell in one of our neighbor's sloped driveways & scraped herself up...I am trying to keep her as calm as possible while I am terrified inside...older boy is joining the search on the other side of the street & my hubby takes off in the minivan...

OOPS!! That leaves no one at home incase he shows up! So Teen Girl & older boy go back to the house, hubby continues search by driving & I go the the church parking lots to see if he has tried to get into any of the doors or is playing on the playground equipment. As I searched the last parking lot with no sign of him playing on the playground, the minivan pulls up to see if I had seen any sign of him...

At this point, I drop to my knees in hysterical prayer, praying to God that my son is safe & fine & we will find him OK...then I hurry up to run to the other side of the church & across the street...because...there are woods there - what if he'd gone there?

As I am running (barefoot) toward the woods, the minivan pulls up again...my hubby tells me to get it...he's been found...

At home...

Asleep in bed...

WHAT???

Yes indeed, the kids got so into their game they didn't realize he'd put himself to bed. Uh, he had no nap that day.

Apparently the kids got home & Teen Girl made older boy hold our prayer shawl with her (a beautiful ministry at our church that we were given a gift of when we moved), and pray hard for lil guy to be found...then...they heard something...like a creaking of a bed...

So, they looked & there he was, fast asleep. He had no idea what chaos had been going on.

My hubby used this as a devotion soon afterward. He told some campers that when we want to see God, we expect to see Him right there & then, but if we don't see Him out in the open, we search frantically...but He is there all along, we just tend to look right past it.

Oh yeah, and we ALWAYS make sure the alarms are set, too.

Stay tuned for more...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

AM~Erica Hears a Child's Prayer



So anyway...

When my older son, Ethan, was about 3 or 4(he is almost 10 now), he was learning how to begin praying on his own - like a big boy. I would still offer up help if he wanted it, but I would let him decide if he wanted me to help, or if he wanted to do it all by himself.

This night, he offered to do it on his own, so I stood close by to listen to him, and this is what I heard"

" Dear God,

Thank you for everything I have... (awww...melts a mommy's heart)

...but I still need more stuff!"

WHAT?!?

I love my son, and I want to teach him that he can pray however he needs to, but how do you hear that last line & not laugh? I think I snickered, but controlled it.

Ah...out of the mouths of babes...

Stay tuned for more good ones!

God Bless, AM~Erica

Monday, October 1, 2007

AM~Erica Crap~Pie


So anyway...


The other day, my daughter comes into the family room, and proceeds to ask me what a crap pie was. I thought she was kidding, but she kept on talking about this "crap-pie" she'd read about.

She said she saw it on the computer, and said it was a type of fish that is spelled c-r-a-p-p-i-e.

I burst out laughing! I told her it was a crappie (pronounced croppy).

Later I found out she heard about it while "fishing" on the millsberry.com site for kids - a virtual town where she went fishing in the virtual pond. OK - I would hope that a site for kids would not encourage them to use terms like "crap pie". Ew!

I'm so glad she's pretty, anyway!

Stay tuned!

God Bless, AM~Erica

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Rice 'n AM~Erica

So anyway...



As promised, I am posting the pic of the kids with Chris Rice on Sept. 22nd. (the one that turned out OK)

So, here it is:


Yep, there's Liz, Ethan & Chris Rice...making fun of me. What a great pic anyway!



Also, need to send out a b-day shout out to my mom -


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!



OK, more great stories about the kids coming your way soon, plus more job possiblities (man this is killing me).



Also, make sure to check out my new video blog - AM~Erica Vid~EO (http://ericavid.blogspot.com).



Stay tuned!



God Bless, AM~Erica

Sunday, September 23, 2007

"Broken" Camera 'n AM~Erica


So anyway...
Chris Rice came to our church last night, and was really good. He was even pretty goofy - which made me happy!
Very soon, I will get the pic I got of Mr. Rice & the kids (Liz & Ethan). It is really a good pic!
For those in KC planning to see him @ The SPOT tonite in Independence, let him know that the chic with the "broken' camera" says "hey"!
OK...I guess this takes some explination, eh? Well, I had my two older kids with me in line after the concert to meet him. We got up to the table to have him sign some stuff & get a pic, right? So, my two lean in on one side of the tabe, Chris on the other, and the camera starts taking crazy pictures - like time-lapse exposure. This means my littlest one has gotten a hold of it & found some crazy settings. I am trying to fix the prob since there is still a long line to go, and I think I get it; I push the button again, and it won't do ANYTHING! I start to move it when Chris & the kids start yelling at me to not move it - a timer had been set. Geez! So, I hold it & get a great pic.
In the meantime, on the other side of the camera, Mr. Rice is apparently having a conversation with my kids. "Welp, looks like she broke the camera." Then, my son fibs & tells him I do it all of the time. SO NOT TRUE!! He purposely mixed me up with my mom (sorry, Mom) to make the scene bigger & me a bigger dork. Liz? She let's it happen. So then they hear him say, "Ooo...the night the cameras take over the world!" Geez!
The concert was great, meeting him...a little embarrassing. But I'm still here, and you all can enjoy hearing him tonite!
Have fun & stay tuned for the pic...
God Bless, AM~Erica

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Another AM~Erica Blog?



So anyway...

I am taking a survey this time around. Please leave a comment as to your opinion. It really is important I hear from you!

The question is:

If you were going to keep up on a blog, what would the content of the blog be?

It is an open-ended question, but I would like to hear from you! Just click the the link that says "<#> Comments", then leave your thoughts for me. If you are a Google account-holder, such as myself, you can use your username/identity; if you are not in the Google community, you can always go "Anonymous" to leave your comment, that's fine; if you are not in the Google community, and want to leave your name, just click on "Other", you can then put in your name for the post.

Oh, and just as a hint, you can e-mail this post to others by clicking on the envelope icon, next to the comment post link. I would love to get all the feedback I can.

Thanx in advance for your help.

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

AM~Erica @ Random



So anyway...

* The countdown has begun to see Chris Rice! (notice the new countdown timer?) Yep! Saturday nite, 9/22, he will be at our church...performing...LIVE! Have I already mentioned that? Oh, and just a head's up for those in KC, I just read he is doing an "Under the Radar" tour, and the first one is Sunday nite, 9/23, at The SPOT, behind Fuddrucker's in Independece, MO. It will small, quaint & accoustic...and FREE. And the day after he performs for us! Geez! We had to pay a bit for our tix...even for the 2-year-old. Well, if you go (hope you do), make sure to tell him "Hi" for me...I'm sure we'll be buddies by then. (ha ha ha ...) Check it all out @ www.chrisrice.com.

* Get ready for International TLAP Day tomorrow, 9/19 Every 9/19 is International Talk Like A Pirate Day! Wear a Jolly Roger T-shirt, a bandana on your head, &/or just go all out with an eye-patch. Have fun with it, and make sure to check out www.talklikeapirate.com for more fun.

* OK, y'all have figured out that I love shopping & saving @ the same time, right? And, I also love Rachael Ray! Well, today she had a segment about saving at the warehouse stores (i.e., Costco, Sam's & BJ's). Watch this for GREAT ideas: http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/show/segments/view/secrets-warehouse-shopping/

* Also, Friday night, Lizzie sings the national anthem with her choir @ the Card's game, so we will be there to watch! If you get to watch the game on TV, look for us! Should be great fun! Around here, you're supposed to be a Card's fan anyway...so...GO CHIEFS!! OOPS...old habits die hard... Hey, it's still red!

OK, the Pirate Fest may have to wait until next weekend; after the game & the concert, we will be tuckered out!! Plus, we'll see how $$ is.

Oh...and have I mentioned that Chris Rice is coming to my church & we are really excited? OK, just checking!

Stay tuned for more...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Prepping AM~Erica



So anyway...

WOW! My hubby & I got to go see one of our very fave musicals last night. "Crazy for You" is a fun & elaborate comedy that we got the privelege to see a few years ago @ the Music Hall in KC. We were blown away! Well, one of the members of our current church, Ben Nordstrom, is an actor, and a very busy one at that. We found out he was getting ready to do "Crazy for You", and we went nuts! We begged him for tickets if possible, and he was a good boy! He hooked us up with a couple of comp tix to see the show. (Thanx, Ben, for giving us a date night!) He was hysterical, and the show was phenomonal! However, it didn't start until 8:00 PM (yes, on a school night), and didn't end until nearly 11:00 PM...we didn't remember the show being that long. Luckily we got a sitter from church (who happens to be the cousin of a couple of school mates/activity chums in Lee's Summit - small world) who was very understanding, and her parents, too. WHEW! Exhausted, but gotta keep truckin'...

We are getting ready to head out of town - back to good ol' KC! But...only for a quick in-and-out stop. We are leaving Friday afternoon so we can spend time with Chris' side that night, then breakfast in the AM with my side so we can see them, too. Then?? Off to a wedding. My hubby is officiating this one. Then back home to StL. We have to get a lot in for such a short stay, so the schedule is tight!

Then...there are some things going on around here, in StL, that we are getting rev'd up for:

1. Back in KC there is the annual Ren Fest. I haven't been to it in years, but I sure had fun when I went. Well, there is a Ren Faire in StL that is getting ready to start...but...only after their spin-off St. Louis Pirate Festival (www.stlpiratefest.com). It starts this weekend, but we won't be in town, but maybe next weekend before our next big event (see below). I know our kids will enjoy it, and it sounds like fun! And, if you know me well, and you've read my motto (see blog header), you will see that I will make sure the family is ready to go! We all have pirate shirts to work with, so no one will be left out. I may take it a bit further & completely embarrass my hubby, and possibly my children, but it's about the fun! Arrrr.

2. If you saw a previous post of mine, you would know that the very well-known contemporary Christian artist, Chris Rice, is coming to our church to perform a concert next weekend (9/22). My family & I are SOOOOOOO excited!! My hubby & I have been fans of his for the last 5 or 6 years, so this is a treat for us. We are so glad our congreation, and others coming in, will be introduced & treated to his music. He has done songs like, "Smellin' Coffee", "Thirsty" (this one is beautiful, and Ben, listed earlier, sang it this past Sunday @ church), "The Cartoon Song" (a personal fave), and more recently "Pardon My Dust". He is completely off-beat & goofy, and I can't wait to see him perform live! Check him out at www.chrisrice.com, and check out his video blog to see how goofy he really is. It's ab fab!

As for everything else, still looking for a job & still looking for "affordable" daycare. The search continues onward...

Oh! And Liz's middle school is getting ready to do the play "Once Upon a Mattress". She is so hoping to get the part of Winefred. She's perfect, but in 6th grade, so we don't know how that will work out with other 6th, 7th & 8th graders trying for it, too. We shall see & pray for her!

Stay tuned!

God Bless, AM~Erica

Monday, September 10, 2007

AM~Erica Presents: More Christian Adventures



So anyway...
I've lived in the KCMO area all of my life. It's all I've known. Then...it happened...
My hubby was appointed to a new church in the St. Louis area! WHAT?? So, we had to pack up everything, and move further away than "just across town"; it was across the state! We had all kinds of things going through our minds. We hoped the kids would be OK in the new surroundings, for sure.
Well, at the end of June, the moving trucks came to the driveway of our townhome, loaded them up, and we were off to a new life in a new city.
We had to stay at a hotel our first night in StL. We had to keep our chain up on the hotel door, too, so our little guy wouldn't leave the room at will.
Then...move-in day arrived! The trucks showed up with our stuff, and chaos reigned supreme. We were trying to keep the kids busy with, oh, ANYTHING - as long as it was out of the way of the movers. We tried our fenced in backyard, but little one figured out how to climb the fence within about 10-minutes. Figures.
We asked for someone from the new church to help with child-care while this was happening. Please keep in mind that the church offered it...we weren't demanding newbys. Finally, the chairman of our Pastor Parish committee showed up, helped move a few things around, and just tried to lend a helping hand to make sure we got in OK. Then...we realized we hadn't heard from little one for a while in the chaos...the search is on!
We looked in the new backyard, in all of the new bedrooms & bathrooms, closets, cabinets...GULP! No avail! My hubby stepped outside to see a neighbor walking the little booger up the street. Yep! He escaped in the madness; and what a way to meet new neighbors. How embarrassing!
So, Day 1, moved in, kid escaped. I'd call it a full day!
Stay tuned for more...trust me - there's more...
God Bless, AM~Erica

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Fingerpainting for AM~Erica



So anyway...

Back to the little stinker, himself...

At the daycare he was attending (and where I was working, if you hadn't figured it out by previous posts), the kids in his class were watching a movie in their room, when the teachers noticed my son fingerpainting the table. This was odd because there were no paints in the room. Then they saw it was brown, and they wondered how he got into the potty-treasure box (prizes, like Hershey Kisses, for going in the big potty) to get some of the chocolate - they didn't see anyone climbing up the shelves! Ornery booger! So they went to clean him up, as well as the table, and realized they weren't cleaning up chocolate...

Yep, my son wrote the book "Fingerpainting the Table", and uses the pen name Hoo-Flug Poo. Oh, and he needed a change of clothes, too.
See? Creativity can come from ANYWHERE! He was in the mood to paint, couldn't reach, so he created his own.
That's my kid!

Stay tuned for more...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Hectic AM~Erica


So anyway...
I see it's been a week since my last post. YIKES!
Things have been CRAZY! I had some more interviews, and had company over the holiday weekend.
The last interview I had was with an insurance company...wanting me to sell insurance, of course. Oh...and having to pay to get a license to do so. Plus, it would be nice if they said it would take about 2 hours for the presentation & interview when they first called. GRRR! Then I got so lost coming home. I would get lost in KC (where I lived all my life), but to come to a new area & try to get home from there? Insane, I must say.
Anyway, still looking for jobs & daycare. There is a daycare in the area looking for teachers & a receptionist. Maybe this one? I am also looking into a couple of different things that can be done from home.
Yes, it is so much work to find work! I'm exhausted, but not beaten. I will perceiver...some way...somehow...
In the meantime - went to 6 Flags with company (hated the Batman ride), and we went to see Big Foot - the world's tallest monster truck. (yipee on the latter - can you sense the excitement & enthusiasm)
Well, I'm off to figure out about these other job prospects.
Stay tuned...
God Bless, AM~Erica

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Search for AM~Erica Continues



So anyway...

The Hairy Elephant wasn't the best deal...but only because of pay. Bummer!

I have interviewed with 2 daycares of the same chain now. We shall see how those come out.

I have, also, posted my resume on all of the main sites to get more exposure: Monster, CareerBuilder, HotJobs. I have gotten some bites, but they seem to be a bit ridiculous. One e-mail said I need to be a Financial Advisor. OK, I already hear most of you laughing. Don't worry, I did, too. First, you have to kinda like numbers to do that, and I am mathematically-challenged; second, you have to have a license & be certified to do the job - DUH! They said they read my resume...HA - I really don't think they did. Oh, my other favorite was the one about being a dental hygenist. I hate having to reach into my son's mouth, so why would I want to do it with a stranger? There was another one about being a doctor's transcriptionist from recorded tapes. This one can be done from home - so it has possibility.

Oh, the daycares share information,too, so I can have more exposure within that franchise. Plus, I had one of the interviews today, couldn't find it & went to 2 wrong locations. At the second wrong location, I ended up meeting the district manager for the daycare & got her card. That worked out pretty well...and I didn't have to fill out the 6-page application again. WOO HOO!!

Daycare is still a continued search, and depends on the daycare franchise, above.

I did get a phone call today from an insurance company looking for an assistant manager, and they saw my resume on Monster.com...so...what the heck - I'm set up for an interview on Friday (as we get ready for company during the weekend).

Whew!

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Monday, August 27, 2007

More Shopping 'n AM~Erica


So anyway...

I promised some killer designer bargains, so let's get started, shall we?

Clearance!! Need I say more? Probably not, but I will anyway.

Whether you are at Wal-Mart or Macy's, check out the serious savings you can get! A lot of the reason things go on clearance is because they have discontinued the item, or they are making room for more inventory (probably an entire season early); it is NOT because the stuff is out of style! My favorite is probably Target & Kohls. I head straight for the clearance items, and I especially look for the 50% & up. I recently picked up a blouse from Nine & Co. (part of Nine West) for $3.40, and a pair of 1928 earrings to match the shirt for $6 at Kohls. I spent about $10 for a top & accessory ensamble. That's awesome!! The shirt was 90% off! About a year ago, I got about $200 worth of clothing for under $25 at Kohls.

DSW is a new fave of mine...I LOVE SHOES!! It makes my hubby crazy, but it's a passion. Even at "discounted" prices at DSW for their designer shoes, I still want to puke when I look at the pricetag. However...go to the clearance section (sound familiar?), and look at the color-coded prices. You can get 30%, 40%, 50%, 70%, even 80% off of the original DSW price. Learn when they have their sales, too. They had a sale all through the summer, plus gave 15% off coupons for Aug. 2-12. You could use 2 coupons at a time. I bought Lizzie 3 pairs of school shoes, which should have cost me about $80 or more, for under $25 for all three pairs - she got a MUDD pair, a Report pair, and (I'm not kidding) a BCBG pair! I wanted to do cartwheels in the parking lot! I found a pair of Katie & Kelly shoes, as well as a pair of Liz Claiborne shoes for under $10 each there. BARGAIN! I also try to keep track of the BOGO sale @ Payless. When they have their sale, Famous Footwear & Shoe Carnival have to have their buy-one-get-one for ½ off sale, too. Gotta love that! And that goes for every shoe in their store...including clearance items.

Look at the mall for stores catering to Juniors. I say this, because their pricing and sales cater to the working teen-aged girl, making minimum wage. After I got Liz the shoes, we went over to Wet Seal (another fave of mine), paroosed the clearance section (there's that word again), and got her a t-shirt, a sparkely hooded sweater, a long-sleeved shirt w/ rhinestone-crusted bow graphic, and a party-dress for a dance - all for...under $15. This was during their buy-one-get-one free on all clearance sale. Geez, I love shopping! Also, try Forever 21 & Heritage 1981 for clearance deals starting at $2.99 and up...and that includes clothing!

No, I ain't too proud to Goodwill! Thrift shopping is so much fun. Yes, you see a lot of weird stuff, but take time to sort through it; it's amazing what you will find. I recently needed a navy purse - navy is always in style, but you can never find a good purse in the color. I found the cutest patent-leather navy clutch EVER! Found it at Goodwill for $3.99. I even found 2 Issac Mizrahi dresses that I'd had my eye on, and missed out on both of them, in my size for $4.99 each. I also got a groovy, mod white-hooped necklace/belt (can be worn as either) for 99¢. I even found Ethan a pair of Old Navy swim trunks for $1. Look for thrift stores from Association for the Blind, Salvation Army, or any auxillary that may sponser one. Great stuff, great deals! Oh...and they don't charge tax.

I have already pieced together most of my Halloween costume, from these stores, for just under $15.

Another trick I love to use is rewards programs. I have one for DSW, Famous Footwear, and used to carry for Wet Seal (back to that one in jiffy). If you join a store/franchise rewards membership, it is usually for free, and the more you shop there, the more they send to you in rewards; this means they pay you, in essence, to shop at their store. That's Fabulous! Wet Seal offers a program which you pay a one-time fee for the year, and you get 20% off your first purchase, a purchase around your b-day, and 10% every other time. This is for EVERYTHING in the store. Within the first 2-3 trips, you've paid for the card, and you can still use it for a whole year. I've even been given coupons with the card to spend, 1/month. That's even more savings!

I have real challenge now that my hubby gave me. He has been so impressed with my bargain finding, he has challenged me to find stuff for guys like that, too: things like easy care, button-up dress shirts...no pressure. I'm up for the challenge & will keep you updated to my research & findings.

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Friday, August 24, 2007

AM~Erica Stinkbomb: Part II



So anyway...


I guess I should go into the second part of the story I started about the little stinker, so I call it:

"Crouching Christian, Hidden Pile".

Shortly after "...Part I" occured (refer to earlier post), I was discussing his antics with one of his preschool teachers...of course, she couldn't believe it what she was hearing.
Within 15-minutes, the teacher I was talking to came inside telling me she couldn't believe the timing of my story...
Christian was on the playground, crawled underneath some of the playground equipment, dropped his drawers & proceeded to do his business in the wood mulch. They had to try to clean the mess off of him, remove the "hidden pile", and try to remove pieces of the wood mulch off of his little tush.
Keep in mind, he had no idea I had a conversation with his teacher.
Little stinker!
Stay tuned for more antics...
God Bless, AM~Erica

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Searching AM~Erica

So anyway...
OWIE! (Like my youngest likes to say)
I had my meeting with my personal trainer. I still hurt! He worked me so hard, I wanted to hurt him...only if I could lift a leg or arm to strike him with, but to no avail.
I'm supposed to see him again in about a month...oh boy...I can't tell you how excited I am about that one. I thought I wanted to puke after my 15-minute workout. My hubby's workout was longer, but he was in the same position as me. He asked me what the name of my trainer was, so I told him it was Adam (as my eye started twitching...because it was the only part of me not hurting), and he told me, "Oh, that's nice...mine was named Satan." My hubby had to meet with his trainer again today. Poor baby...REALLY!
OK - after trying to muster up some normal movement without hurting, I put on heels & a suit today for my interview. It went very well, but now I've got some decisions to make. It's the perfect work enviornement for me, the hours are perfect, it's something I'm good at (I don't brag often), and it's just down the street. So what's making my hubby & I question? The pay. Yikes! Even with all of my expierence, they can't pay very much because they are still a very new company.
So, I may have to keep looking. Just like daycare. Once again, "OWIE!" My leads for in-home have fallen through so far, and the one chain daycare in the area that has openings, wants an arm & a leg. Both of my arms & legs hurt already, and so does my hubby's. That won't work! I did see where some of them are hiring & give daycare discounts & benefits...there may be some hope.
Stay tuned...
God Bless, AM~Erica

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Heart-Pounding AM~Erica

So anyway...

I have recently started walking bright & early in the AM. I'm really trying to focus on my health & fitness. It's not bad, but it could always be better.

My hubby & I also joined at Gold's Gym - YEA! I now have access to my yoga classes, and whatever I want to do there.

For anyone who knows my hubby, he's more like "Mr. Fitness". No, he's not big & buff, but he tries to keep in shape, and he knows his stuff about it. He invited me to workout with him, but I'll pass...he'd kill me with his workout routine torture. I prefer other methods.

Here's where it gets scary...
In joining at Gold's, the primary member (i.e., hubby) gets 7 hours of free personal trainer attention. That's pretty good since my hubby has gotten out of routine since we've moved, and he wants some real targeted know-how for his workouts. The membership also offers 1 hour of a personal trainer for the other member (i.e., me). My hubby set up his first appointment for Monday AM (yes, tomorrow). Go, Honey! Oh, that leaves me to make one now...for Monday AM (yes, tomorrow). I'm set up with "Adam", who called me today to confirm the appointment. OK, I'm going to admit that I already hurt thinking about it. I am terrified to work with a pro. I won't workout with my hubby, or anyone for that matter. I'm a loner when it comes to getting fit. I want to go at my pace, whether it's a fast day or slow day for me, I don't want someone else there to hinder me. No offense to anyone.

What have I gotten myself into? 8:00 AM is when I meet with Adam, and my hubby meets with his trainer. YIKES!!

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Pray for AM~Erica

So anyway...

If you have looked at my profile lately, you will notice that is now says "currently job-hunting".

My husband was helping me look through classifieds to see what might be out there, and there is a place here called "The Hairy Elephant".

The Hairy Elephant is a hair & nail salon for kids. They are looking for a daytime receptionist.

OK - the above should tell you a few things: 1) I have been a receptionist, to some degree, at almost every job I've had; 2) I enjoy working with kids; 3) Hello! Hair salon! You can also throw in one more that they do host birthday parties there, too. Hello! Party planning??

This one has some promise, and I have an interview set up for Wednesday, 8/22, at 10:30 AM. Thoughts & prayers are appreciated.

This leads to another one...child care! I am going to be shopping around for some affordable (HA) child care for Christian, so mommy can go back to work. I have a couple of leads to check into; so, once again, thoughts & prayers are appreciated.

OK, one last thing: we have found a gym prospect so that hubby can work out (he's chompin' @ the bit to get back), and I might have a place for yoga...I love yoga...I miss yoga...
We may be joining Gold's Gym this week or next to get things rolling. So exciting!

It's really hard to get used to a new place & new surroundings. It's very weird to try to get your feet on the ground in a whole new world. I've been in KC all of my life until the end of June. It's crazy!

Stay tuned to find out what happens with all of the above...

Oh yeah...I almost forgot...
GO CHIEFS!

God Bless, AM~Erica

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

AM~Erica Stinkbomb: Part I




So anyway...


We need another good kid story, right? Well, here goes...


Potty training for the 2-year-old is off & on. Several months ago, from upstairs in his room, we could hear the little voice saying,"Mama? Mama?" I went up to see the door to the room was closed, so when I opened the door, I screamed at the sight I saw!!


This little boy had climbed up on his dresser (not opening any of the drawers, mind you), and was crouched in an akward position, hovering over a pile of what had exited his underside, and the diaper was sitting on the floor, next to the door. Yes, that is correct - used the top of his dresser as his own personal "Johnny on the Spot". OK, also keep in mind that the bathroom was less than 6 feet away from where he was. GRRR!!


I hollered for help from my husband, closed the door (yes, I left little one in the hover position to try to teach him a lesson), and attempted to let my husband know he needed to brace himself. I opened the door for him to discover what I saw (see above).


To be continued...


Stay tuned!


God Bless, AM~Erica

Monday, August 13, 2007

Art 'n AM~Erica


So anyway...

I actually did it!


For any of you who know me well, you will know that I am creative, but no where near craftsy; I am what you would call "craft-challenged". Wish I was more crafty, but the things I try fall apart pretty soon after I get it together, if I can even get it together in the first place.


However, I have been wanting to do a painting for years now. It is a vision I had in my head since before I met my husband...so, a long time. I got the chance to start the background, on canvas, about 3-years-ago; I haven't touched it since...until today...


My kids (Lizzie & Ethan) started school today. When the little one took a nap, God took hold of me & told me to finish my painting...so, I did! It looks exactly like the image in my head for so, so long. I am very emotional to see my vision in a tangible form! It's so surreal.


I can't wait for it to dry so I can hang it!


WHEW!! I'm spent!


Stay tuned for more...there will be another one on the way (the background is done, just need to get more paint).


God Bless, AM~Erica

Sunday, August 12, 2007

AM~Erica 'n Worship


So anyway,



I love the worship service I've been attending the last six weeks, or so. It's an upbeat, high energy, praise & worship service - perfect for me! The band is fabulous, and the preaching is extraordinary. OK - I'm a bit biased on the preaching since it's my husband doing it, but a lot of the congregants agree, I swear!


We started coming to this church about six weeks ago (hence the amount of time attending) when my husband was appointed here by the Missouri United Methodist Conference this year. We came from a quaint "country church in the city" in the Kansas City area, with about 60 in attendance at the one service each week, to a church in the St. Louis area with 3,500 members, and about 1,400+ in attendance each week between 5 services. Whew! What a change!


My husband was put in charge of the primary preaching at the contemporary service. Remember what I said our previous church was? (reference above paragraph) Well, we were told this service was averaging around 210 each week. Big jump for us! Since we've been there, the attendance has been anywhere from 275 to 315 each week. So exciting! This is held in a room, we were told, could hold up to 280, if we squeezed people in. Then today happened...


The band was rockin' today, as usual; I was introduced into this church's drama ministry with my first skit for this congregation today, with two excellent people (thanks Bill & Lori); we had an awsome special guest today being Mark Cruz playing classical guitar (ab fab...check him out: http://www.markanthonycruz.com/); and exceptional sermon - of course...all of this in front of an offical count of (drum roll, please)................



388!



Can you believe it? I think it's the biggest crowd I've done a skit in front of, for sure! It went over well, and it was PACKED! Standing Room Only!

It was a very exciting morning! I had to share what God had in store today.

You can hear a sermon of my husband's at www.manchesterumc.org/contemporary.


Oh yeah...and Chris Rice is coming to do a concert at our church on September 22nd! Can't wait for that one!!


Stay tuned for more!


God Bless, AM~Erica

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Shopping 'n AM~Erica

So anyway...

A few of you wanted some killer shopping tips. So I am going to start with the easiest of all of them...are you ready? Brace yourselves...

* COUPONS!!

I love coupons! I get so excited to see the Sunday paper come, and I get the scissors ready, in hand, to sort through the sections to find the slick-paper booklets of savings - yes, even before I read the comics. If there are no coupons in the paper, my week is ruined! Same goes if I can't use any of the coupons that week.

Clip the coupons you find for products you use all of the time; then find ones of products or brands you wouldn't mind trying. Do NOT clip coupons for dog food if you don't even have a pet.

* Then, you need to do some homework. School is almost in session, so homework should begin anyway, right? You need to go to each store in your area to see how things are priced for the items you tend to get. Also, use your coupons to price check. Just because you have a coupon for 55¢ off of 3 of product Brand A, when getting two of Brand B would be less than that, doesn't mean you should stick to the product coupon you have; get the other brand. Just be smart when you compare.

* Generic &/or store brands are not bad things! Sometimes, we like them better than some of the name brand stuff.

* Know that you may need to do some store hopping for better pricing. Aldi's has great prices on most things. Go there first, then supplement with your other stores. Just remember Aldi's only takes cash & cards...NO CHECKS!

* Buy in bulk. Get a good deep freezer, and then get a membership to Sam's or Costco. But, be smart when shopping here...just because you buy bulk, doesn't mean you eat bulk. Get your paper products from here (i.e., paper plates, paper towles, TP, etc.). You can also get food items you use a lot; there are 5-6 people in my house...we go through a lot of stuff fast!

* Look for specials and sales at different stores. Another piece of homework is to look in the paper for the store's specials they are running for the week. If you have a coupon for the same product that's on special - BONUS!

I will have some more killer tips coming soon. (Think shoes, clothes, designer brands...for cheap!)

Stay tuned!

God Bless, AM~Erica

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

AM~Erica Presents: Christian Adventures


So anyway...


It looks like there is a large portion of you wanting to hear a kid story - well, most of the ones I have right now are of my 2½ year old son. So, here goes:


OK, Christian may not talk a lot still (we're working on it), but he is still too smart for his own good! This spring, he stayed home sick from preschool one day, and I got home right after work, checked on him, went upstairs to check e-mail, and then my husband (who'd been with him through the day) came upstairs to change clothes. We were up in the room for 3-4 minutes...TOPS...when we realized we didn't hear the little one. We got really worried because he had just learned to unlock the front & back doors. As we went down, he couldn't be found, but the back door was found open! He'd apparently become strong enough to open the doors, now, and we began to look through the neighborhood, calling for him. My daughter, Lizzie, was hysterical & screaming his name, and we all (including my other son, Ethan) split up. I could see from a distance that my husband was waving to someone, as he walked through a large field, behind our townhome. Apparently, our son ran through the field, across a busy street, and tried to get into the Super 8 Hotel that was less than a block behind our townhome. He was wearing a pull-up & t-shirt...and was barefooted. A woman saw him & asked him where his mommy was...he only shrugged at her. Then she saw a guy, who must be "daddy", coming through the field.


Just keep in mind, this was a 3-4 minute time span.


OK...more adventures to come.


Stay tuned!


God Bless, AM~Erica

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Welcome to AM~Erica!


So anyway...

You may ask why "AM~Erica", right? Well, I'm Erica, with a "C"; you know, "America" without the "AM"... probably because I am NOT a morning person, but I am still an all AMerican girl!

I will be using this blog to share some tips for bargain shopping, moving, and to share some wild & crazy kid stories (trust me...there are some doozies) for you to enjoy! Oh, I may post some random musings & stuff, too.

So stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica