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Blessings and Adventures

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Jeff and I started an adventure yesterday. We are road tripping to Minnesota and Wisconsin to see family and friends. To fully appreciate this travel we are counting blessings and looking for adventure along the way. So…

Blessing #1: My Ningxia Red travel case. This puppy keeps my Ningxia Red cold. With a little manipulation (ripping out inner walls) we were able to get Jeff’s cherry juice concentrate bottle in there to stay cool too. Double blessing!

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What the heck is Ningxia you may ask. Ningxia is an amazing vitamin, mineral, essential oil drink that helps a lot with mental focus and alertness. It is sometimes called gypsy juice at my house. It has put the cabash on issues I was having with aphasia. The cherry juice is for Jeff’s arthritic knees.

Blessing #2: Laughter. Jeff calls it the Ninja case (not on purpose). We use the case to carry around the juice that fuels our wicked ninja skills. We laugh and invent bigger and better stories on how we use those secret skills on unsuspecting villains or kids.

Adventure #1: At 11:30 pm we took a chance on a hotel in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Never heard of this town before, but even ninjas need to sleep. It turned out to be an okay place with nice beds but sketchy lighting. Good peanut butter. Bad coffee.
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Adventure #2: Since we were making good time, we decided to find a place we have never tried for lunch in Clear Lake. Cancun fit the bill. Chips and salsa were good. Chairs had dried-on cheese and wobbled. Guac was decent. Prices great. Chicken was unseasoned and boiled. But no revenge of Montezuma or anything of that nature. So…score another point for adventure.
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Now it is off to a friend’s high school graduation where more blessings will be counted. She is such a sweet and sincere girl. We are honored to have a tiny part in her life story.

Life is grand. And the adventure has just started. More to come…but you may miss it. We are tricksy ninjas after all.

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What Day It Is

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The question we hear most on this trip is, “What day is it?” It usually takes a discussion involving two or three chaperones to answer that question. We thought this was day three on our Stupendous Band Tour. If we left on Thursday, however, this must be day four since it is Sunday night. But with a day of airport time, the time difference, and today’s change to daylight savings time, we feel like this is day three–otherwise known as the “grumpy day.”
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It started off with me waking from one of the deepest sleeps ever. Wow, was it hard to emerge from the depths. The alarm may have gone off for a minute or two or ten (only my roommate, Jonette, knows for sure). Then a couple of my girls went back to sleep after a 7:15 am wske up visit from me and almost missed the bus. They ended up getting ready in like four minutes since everyone was waiting. Grumpy.
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The day got better. The weather was sunny and warm (downright hot by Minnesota standards). We took a tour of Salzburg with Ms. Winnie as our guide.
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Walked over the lock bridge. Saw the fortress, a piece of pickle art, Mozart’s statue, his birth house, the house he grew up in. Saw an amazing graveyard, several cathedrals, horses, a coffee shop, and the best chocolate store in Austria.
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Jonette and I had coffee on the bslcony of Thomadini’s and sausages again for lunch. Yum. Then we shopped for eggs at an amazing shop with thousands of exquisitely hand-painted eggs. Our group may be responsible for a dozen or two making their way to the U.S.
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Spring has sprung here. Green grass and flowers are everywhere. Our kids played beautifully in the Mirabell Gardens (one of many gorgeous garden squares in Salzburg) at the summer castle (aptly named since we were all suffering in the warm temps with hot band jackets).
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Lots of people came because they knew tbere would be a concert and others were beguiled by the music and joined us. Total success. Mr. Christianson got a text from the mayor thanking us for such a great performance.
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After a short rest at the hotel (where shoes and shirts were changed for the benefit of all), we were back on the road again. This time to play a concert in St. Vitalis Church. It was small and it was challenging to get the sound right. But, Boy Howdy, did the band rise to the challenge!
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The small wooden church filled with Salzburgians ready to hear and appreciate lovely music. And our kids delivered. It brought tears to my eyes to see the kids do so well for an audience who knew and appreciated each note. I was so proud–I would have popped my buttons if I hadn’t been wearing a zippered jacket. Those gracious, wonderful people asked for an encore then gave the band a four minute ovation. It was one of those awesome moments in time that is imprinted on your soul. What memories.
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What day it is? Awesome day.

Chillin’ in Charlotte

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Everyone made it to the buses on time for the trip to the airport. No big issues getting instruments checked, getting ticketed, and through security. Perfect.

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Jeanette and I had fabulous sushi while listening to a piano player tickle the ivories.
All was great.
They called for us to board our flight for Frankfurt. Phones were turned off, neck pillows readied, passports pulled from the bowels of backpacks.
Then the dreaded announcement. “We have to delay the flight due to an engine check. We will board in thirty minutes.”
That was at 8:00 p.m. one hour ago.

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Now it says 9:45.
But the kids are finding fun things to do. No worries. It will all work out.

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All is good. Can’t keep kids from having fun.

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2 Corinthians 4:6-9 NLT

6 For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.