Whoa!

Whoa!

FL thunderstorms and lightening are frightening. Last night we experienced it first had as a bolt of lightening and ginormous clap of thunder hit at the same time plunging us into darkness. After we picked ourselves up off the floor, changed our pants (lol) we discovered our entire block was out. Jon found the top of the Street light across the street in our yard, gigantic pieces of glass from the globe everywhere and the post base basically shattered with blocks of concrete blown into the street! The transformer next door was mushroomed with oil seeping  out. So here we were at midnight standing in the rain with no lights, no a.c. drinking an evening libation with our neighbors and mulling over the power of that storm. Who ever said life is boring?

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Looking for a little something extra?

Looking for a little something extra?

A while back I was looking into various ways to bring just a little bit of extra income into our household.  Considering the fact that Jon was getting ready to “retire” out of an organized congregation but still active in our mission work and Waterside Community I really wanted something that I could do whenever and wherever.  I tried on-line juries, but nothing ever really came of them.  Then I ran across something called usability testing.  If you aren’t familiar with what usability testing is it is a way that companies will see how easy something is to use by testing it with real users.  As part of a panel I will receive a test with screener questions.  If I qualify to accept the test I will be asked to complete tasks either on my computer, laptop, phone or tablet all while speaking my thoughts out loud.  Sometimes it may be a live test but most of the time it is a test that will then be uploaded and reviewed by the researcher.  The purpose is to see where I as a tester may have encountered problems, experience confusion, how easy or difficult the site was to use, etc.

I love being part of a panel of testers.  I will admit I’m not going to get rich doing this but it does bring a little bit of extra “pin” money into our household and gives me a chance to try out some new website prototypes.  I’ve run across some very interesting websites through my testing!

So, which usability sites do I use?  For the past several years I’ve mainly used UserTesting.  Not too long ago I signed up for Intellizoom.  Just recently I’ve become a tester for Userfeel and Userlytics.  I either receive an e-mail inviting me to do a screener test or I keep my eye on the website during the day to see what tests are being offered.

So if you’re looking for a little bit something extra on your own free time, whenever and wherever I’d invite you to check these out!

And We Have Liftoff!

And We Have Liftoff!

NASA we have had a successful launch at the launch pad birthday! The mission was filled with experimental planet cake pops surrounding Saturn, Galactic Punch, NASA banners, terrestrial tacos with all the fixings, Martian margaritas, a new two-wheel terrain vehicle and a bunch of giggling, new scientists.  The older scientists in the crowd had a blast getting the launch prepared and also enjoyed tons of laughter and hugs from the newest 7 y.o. scientist.  Mission complete!

Out with the Old, In with the New!

Out with the Old, In with the New!

What an absolutely incredible year this has been for our family! We are extremely blessed as we look back to all that we have accomplished, the places we’ve been and the changes in our lives! From our first trip to Cuba, the blessed birth of our 2nd granddaughter, our first hurricane evacuation experience, tons of wonderful and fun FaceTimes with our oldest granddaughter, the beautiful baptism of our new granddaughter, helping our son and daughter in law move from Long Island, NY and culminating with the gathering of our entire family to celebrate Christmas in their new home! Not to miss the numerous trips to Walt Disney World, visits with family and wonderful times spent on Marco Island! Our year has been filled with blessings, love, adventure, hugs, family, friends, butterfly kisses, hearing grandma and grandpa come play with me & baby smiles too numerous to count! We can hardly wait to see what 2018 brings,

Do You Promise… I Baptize You…

Do You Promise… I Baptize You…

I sat in the church pew and watched my husband, our son, his wife and baby, our other son, wife and their sweet daughter and and a couple additional close friends gather together at the baptismal font. I listened as my husband asked our son and daughter-in-law the questions regarding specific responsibilities they have for helping their child grow in the Christian faith and life. I listened as they answered “With God’s help, we do.” I listened as he addressed the questions to our other son, daughter-in-law and 2 close friends the questions about specific responsibilities they as sponsors have. Again, I listened as they answered “With God’s help we will”. I then watched as my husband took his new granddaughter in his arms and they all laid hands on her to pray over this beautiful new child that has come into our lives. Later in the service my husband and I watched as our daughter-in-law took the baby in her arms, placing her head over the font, watched as our son, using a special shell from Marco Island, poured the baptismal water, from a special lake in Minnesota and listened as our son said “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”. We watched as our son lit the baptismal candle with the words “Let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven”. We watched as he anointed her forehead with oil with the words “You are marked with the cross of Christ forever”.

Then we celebrated! It was an emotion filled, button popping, beautiful day for our families!

Moving Forward!

Moving Forward!

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We’re spending a few days at one of our very special happy places as we celebrate moving forward into a new adventure! Eleven years ago God placed on our hearts the opportunity to plant seeds in the international mission field and then several years ago the chance to begin Waterside Missional Community.  We are now seeing those seeds really starting to grow!  We are excited to see what God has in store for us as we move forward into focusing on this adventure that God has placed on our hearts.  We are blessed by all that God has already poured upon us and trust that His blessings will continue! I love it when God calls you to something and you really have no clue what is going to happen! Life is an adventure and God is so good!

Our Hearts Are Filled- Again!

Our Hearts Are Filled- Again!

To us there is nothing better than a visit with our family!  This time we were blessed to have some time with our New Yorkers.  Time is always so precious when we are together and we are always so excited to see what they have planned for our visit.  It’s always a wonderful combination of just relaxing and catching up with each other, and also some sightseeing.  What more could we ask for than to meet our new granddog and spend time being squashed on the couch by two very large greyhounds, pizza and a movie night, then a day filled with meeting the Queen at Robinson’s Tea Room, visiting Sagamore Hills Historic Site ending with an absolutely awesome dinner at New Chilli and Curry, followed by Sunday worship with them and a church super bowl party!  And of course, one last breakfast together at our favorite Hauppauge Diner before heading back home.  How can 4 days go by so quickly?  As usual they did a bang up job of planning the weekend to make it an absolutely awesome, fun, filled with wonderful and stimulating conversation, times of laughter and just being together.  We are the luckiest parents in the world and so blessed by both sets of our kids!  More memories continue to fill that memory bank and our hearts!