Sunday, January 3, 2010

Girls New Years

Alina & Brandon

Saturday, December 26, 2009

So Sad

Salvation Army major shot in front of 3 children
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- A Salvation Army worker was shot and killed Christmas Eve in front of his three young children during an attempted robbery outside the charity's community center in North Little Rock, a Salvation Army official said Friday.
North Little Rock police said they were looking for the two men who accosted Salvation Army Maj. Philip Wise outside the community center about 4:15 p.m. Thursday. No arrests have been made.
The two men fled on foot into a nearby housing development, police Sgt. Terry Kuykendall said Friday. Police don't know whether Wise, who was active in the community, knew his attackers, he said.
Wise, 40, had gone to the community center with his children to pick up his wife - also a Salvation Army major - to drive to his mother's home in West Virginia, said Maj. Harvey Johnson, area commander of the Salvation Army. As Wise neared the side door, two men approached.
Both men were carrying hand guns, police said. One demanded money and shot Wise, Pulaski County Coroner Garland Camper told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Wise's wife, Cindy, was inside the center and called 911.
Blood stained the sidewalk outside the center Friday.
The Wises had just adopted their children - ages 4, 6 and 8 - last year, Johnson said. The three were siblings who came from an abusive family. They were receiving counseling after their father's death, he said.
Kuykendall said the children were standing beside their father when he was shot, but there was apparently no interaction between the youngsters and the two men.
Wise had worked for three years in Baring Cross, a low-income neighborhood troubled by gangs and drugs, Johnson said. He ran youth programs, a food pantry and church services.
"He was involved in the fabric of that community in a lot of different ways," Johnson said.
He described Wise as "a big boy" who played "a big old tuba" in a brass ensemble and used his love of music to try help others.
"He encouraged kids in music as an alternative to the life they were living," he said.
Kuykendall said he knew Wise, although they were not close friends.
"Mr. Wise within the last two months had spent so much time raising money so that several hundred children in this community could have a good Christmas, and for this to happen ... on Christmas Eve is just a tragedy," he said.
Wise was originally from Weirton, W.Va., and his wife, Cindy, was from Charleston, W.Va. They met 16 years ago at a Salvation Army school in Atlanta, Johnson said. Both had worked for the Salvation Army ever since.
"He's touched a lot of people," Johnson said. "But who would he have touched if he had been able to live out his career?"

Friday, December 18, 2009

Robby's Story :)

Robby's NightTrue Story Worth Reading !!!
At the prodding of my friends, I am writing this story. My name is Mildred Hondorf. I am a former elementary school music teacher from Des Moines, Iowa. I've always supplemented my income by teaching piano lessons-something I've done for over 30 years. Over the years I found that children have many levels of musical ability. I've never had the pleasure of having a prodigy though I have taught some talented students.However, I've also had my share of what I call 'musically challenged' pupils. One such student was Robby. Robby was 11 years old when his mother (a single Mom) dropped him off for his first piano lesson. I prefer that students (especially boys!) begin at an earlier age, which I explained to Robby.But Robby said that it had always been his mother's dream to hear him play the piano. So I took him as a student. Well, Robby began with his piano lessons and from the beginning I thought it was a hopeless endeavor. As much as Robby tried, he lacked the sense of tone and basic rhythm needed to excel but he dutifully reviewed his scales and some elementary pieces that I require all my students to learn.Over the months he tried and tried while I listened and cringed and tried to encourage him. At the end of each weekly lesson he'd always say, 'My mom's going to hear me play someday.' But it seemed hopeless. He just did not have any inborn ability. I only knew his mother from a distance as she dropped Robby off or waited in her aged car to pick him up. She always waved and smiled but never stopped in.Then one day Robby stopped coming to our lessons.I thought about calling him but assumed because of his lack of ability, that he had decided to pursue something else. I also was glad that he stopped coming. He was a bad advertisement for my teaching!Several weeks later I mailed to the student's homes a flayer on the upcoming recital. To my surprise Robby (who received a flayer) asked me if he could be in the recital. I told him that the recital was for current pupils and because he had dropped out he really did not qualify. He said that his mother had been sick and unable to take him to piano lessons but he was still practicing 'Miss Hondorf, I've just got to play!' he insisted.I don't know what led me to allow him to play in the recital. Maybe it was his persistence or maybe it was something inside of me saying that it would be all right. The night for the recital came. The high school gymnasium was packed with parents, friends and relatives. I put Robby up last in the program before I was to come up and thank all the students and play a finishing piece. I thought that any damage he would do would come at the end of the program and I could always salvage his poor performance through my 'curtain closer.'Well, the recital went off without a hitch. The students had been practicing and it showed, then Robby came up on stage. His clothes were wrinkled and his hair looked like he'd run an eggbeater through it. 'Why didn't he dress up like the other students?' I thought. 'Why didn't his mother at least make him comb his hair for this special night?'Robby pulled out the piano bench and he began. I was surprised when he announced that he had chosen Mozart's Concerto #2120 in C Major. I was not prepared for what I heard next. His fingers were light on the keys, they even danced nimbly on the ivories. He went from pianissimo to fortissimo. From allegro to virtuoso. His suspended chords that Mozart demands were magnificent! Never had I heard Mozart played so well by people his age. After six and a half minutes he ended in a grand crescendo and everyone was on their feet in wild applause.Overcome and in tears, I ran up on stage and put my arms around Robby in joy. 'I've never heard you play like that Robby! How'd you do it? 'Through the microphone Robby explained: 'Well, Miss Hondorf, remember I told you my Mom was sick? Well, actually she had cancer and passed away this morning and well. .. She was born deaf so tonight was the first time she ever heard me play. I wanted to make it special.'There wasn't a dry eye in the house that evening. As the people from Social Services led Robby from the stage to be placed into foster care, I noticed that even their eyes were red and puffy and I thought to myself how much richer my life had been for taking Robby as my pupil.No, I've never had a prodigy but that night I became a prodigy . .. Of Robby's. He was the teacher and I was the pupil for it is he that taught me the meaning of perseverance and love and believing in yourself and maybe even taking a chance in someone and you don't know why.Robby was killed in the senseless bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in April of 1995. And now, a footnote to the story.If you are thinking about forwarding this message, you are probably thinking about which people on your address list aren't the 'appropriate' ones to receive this type of message. The person who sent this to you believes that we can all make a difference. So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice: Do we act with compassion or do we pass up that opportunity and leave the world a bit colder in the process?

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Once our eyes are opened we cannot pretend we do not know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows we know, and holds us responsible to act. Proverbs 24:12

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dinner out with Les's work

Mom & Maxim



Didnt take pics of Alina and Brandon ? Not sure why, I thought I did. We had a great meal and got some wonderful gifts :) Thanks you Major Jeff & Mrs. Linda. We are so lucky to have you both.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sudden Loss

I learned that sometimes "not knowing" is all I know.

I learned that I have a lot more to learn about myself.

I learned that I can blame anything & everything until I run out of breath-but I become empowered when I quit asking "why me" & start asking " what will I do with this?"

I learned there is nothing as precious as right now- even when "now" doesn't seem precious.

I learned the I cannot make up for today bu living or working "harder" or "doing more" or "spending more time" tomorrow.

I learned that I can never know what the day may bring, but it is up to me at its close, to know what the day brought.

I re-learned the value of a moment.

Just for Fun

Aubriana & Aliana




Today we were invited for cookies, crafts, and photos with Santa :) I think we all have a good time !!