Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Meet Angela Richardson

So, this is what happens when you get stung by a hornet, can't walk and you've lost your voice...you spend way too much time on the computer. I decided to google my name and see what came up. Evidently, I'm not as popular as I thought I was! HA!!! I couldn't find anything about myself. However, there are THOUSANDS of "Angela Richardson's". Since their faces are already on the internet, I thought I'd show you all my namesakes. Not quite sure what she does, it didn't sayActor, dancing, performing artist. Manager, Public Accountant and AdvisorCompany OwnerDirector at Florida State UniversityFounder of Sisters With VisionArmy Veteran and founder of Destiny Helping Hands OutreachChoreographer/DancerBiochemist M.D./P.h.DWinner of the Media Fair at her middle schoolOffice Manager at a Brain Surgery OrganizationOnline Administrator in LondonBrian and Angela Richardson - Christian Counselors

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sunday School Musical...Oh, dear...

Last night we were in Blockbuster looking for a movie for the boys to watch for movie night. I thought Paul was joking when he said..."hey, we could always rent 'Sunday School Musical'.."(He was joking and being a little sarcastic) I didn't believe him at first, that it was an ACTUAL movie, but here it is...Now, I don't want to make fun because I haven't actually seen the movie yet. But I'm thinking, after the success of High School Musical, these people are setting themselves up for failure. You know the Christian movies that come out that are a little cheesy? I root for them and want them to succeed, it's just, I don't know, sometimes they give the stereotype a leg to stand on. I'm sure it's a great movie with a good lesson to be learned. Kind of looks like a remake of Sister Act 11. Here's the trailer..

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day - deleted scenes

Made a Father's Day video today. I just wanted to see what they would say...

Growing up, I would watch The Cosby Show and I LOVED how the kids would always do skits and perform songs for their parents. I've tried to put together little skits for the kids to perform for daddy...I realize now, this can't be forced. It's best to let the kids say what's on their hearts!

Happy Father's Day Paul! You're the best!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Summer Polish Pick! And, a GIVEAWAY!

June 21 is the first official day of summer. Nothing better to kick it off than some polished, pretty toes! Choosing a "pick" was a toughie this year ladies. I looked at colors so long I went cross-eyed. There are just too many good colors this year! Here it is without further ado...drumroll please....(this is the cutest name ever!)...

Ladies & Magenta-Men
Look at this color next to my geranium's! Now, I showed you 2 different pictures to show you that this color has a chameleon quality. If you're wearing pink, it looks pink - red, it looks red - orangey, it looks orangey! It has a little ribbon of sparkle throughout it too which make it extra-specially pretty in the sunshine!

Here's how to win this PRETTY color: Click HERE to leave a comment. You will automatically be entered when you leave a comment about this post. Drawing will be in week, so chop chop! Good luck. And, Happy SUMMER.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Meet Annabelle...

What a month. I had thought about doing a long recap with tons of pictures, and I still might put together a little slideshow of our time off, but there was one moment that will FOREVER be etched in my memory.

Seeing Annabelle.

Every Christmas as long as I can remember, my family would travel to Illinois. We spent every summer there too, with my grandparents. The best memories.

One year, I was a teenager, we were driving through an old town in Illinois and my gramma began to tell us a tale of this "woman" who was rumored to be living in an old shoe store. Her parents had died young. She was alone. No brothers or sisters. All they had was this shoe store that they left to her. She never went back home, but stayed in the store to better remember her parents. And, in some psychotic way...to keep the store in business. The store hadn't changed a BIT since the 1920's. Old running shoes still in the windows. Something you would have seen in a movie. Her name was Annabelle. Whenever Annabelle was seen around town, people would mutter to themselves..."there she is!". You get the idea. This was the crazy old woman in town. My brother and sister n law dared me to try and open the door of the shoe store and say "ANNABELLE!". Then, of course, I would run away in absolute horror, screaming and being proud of my bravery.

Well, the door opened right up. Didn't have to jiggle the handle. It was wide open. Open for business. There was trash everywhere. Rats. Rats and more rats. And a little bell rang as I opened the door signaling my arrival. I said (a little more sheepishly than I thought I would) "Annabelle?". I looked up, and in my absolute amazement, this woman came walking from the back of this run down and trashed store.

"Can I help you?"

"Ummm, (I started giggling), we were wanting to get some shoes."

- really, is that what I said? Oh, if I could go back as a teen and have been more kind, and sensitive.

"What size you lookin' for?"

At this point my brother and sister n law are with me and we all look at each other and tell her our sizes. I have to say, she knew her shoes. She sold my brother and I both a REALLY COOL looking pair of shoes. Talk about vintage. Jason's shoes were around $9.00 - full price! What a bargain. When she gave us our change it was all in quarters. We took our shoes back to my gramma's and told the whole family of our bravery and were SO PROUD of our heroism!

On the drive back to Virginia from Illinois, I couldn't get Annabelle off my mind. I decided to write to her. About 2 months later I received a card. Very old fashioned. Not at all preppy or pink, no monogramming. There was just a little bird on a brown card. Her little handwriting conveyed she was feeble. She just wanted to say thanks for the letter and asked for a picture sometime.

This began about 5 or 6 years of letter writing back and forth. Each Christmas I would go to Illinois, but I never made it to see her. I felt as though she'd be embarrassed for me to see her in the store. The first time I had seen her, she wore a man's toupee on top of her head. Her silver hair was growing long underneath. She wore every piece of jewelry she owned. I remember thinking as a young girl, no wonder people laugh at her.

As the years passed, I found a friend in this "Annabelle". I developed a genuine concern for who she was. Why is she still in this store? Is anyone taking care of her? What is to come of her beautiful home on Main street? Does she have anyone else to talk to?

I received a phone call about a year ago that Annabelle had been put in a nursing home. The state had condemned that old store. It was a hazard for the stores around it. Her home was not suit to live in either. On the outside, it's as pretty as a picture, inside things had fallen apart.

I was in Illinois last winter and I went to the nursing home where Annabelle was suppose to be living. The receptionist told me she wasn't there. And she said she was not allowed to give me anymore information about Annabelle. "What?" I was so hurt. "Please tell me she hasn't passed away!". They couldn't tell me ANYTHING about her. I left there so disappointed. What had become of my friend Annabelle?

Spring forward to a week ago. Paul was on sabbatical and we went to Illinois for my cousin's wedding. While I was there I asked Paul..."Honey, can I please try one more time to see Annabelle?" Sure, he said.

Paul dropped me off at the front door of the nursing home. I was buzzed in by a receptionist. Went up to the counter.

"Hi, I'm looking for Annabelle ______. Is she still here?"

"Why yes, she is right around the corner, in the dining room having lunch!"

- WHAT? My heart skipped a beat. I suddenly became very nervous. Would she remember me? Is she still functioning okay? What do I say? Lord, help me know what to say to her to encourage her and not make a fool of myself.

I walked into the dining room. "Right here, she is" said the receptionist. I saw Annabelle at first from the back. Her long silver hair was in a neat pony tail. She was in a conversation with some other ladies at a card table.

I put my hand on her shoulder. (I'm crying right now by the way. I can't believe I get to tell this story!!!)

"Annabelle? Do you remember me? It's me, Angela."

She looked up at me with her beautiful eyes and said..."Oh, I think so. OH, yes, Angela!"

Her eyes lit up. Mine teared up.

I walked around where I could get to her to hug her.

We chatted for a minute or two and I asked her if I could bring in Will and Paul to meet her. (Wesley was with my family...good thing:)

I was so proud to show her off to my boys. As if I was showing off the President or the Queen of England. I was just plain giddy. We sat with her and talked. And talked. About the food in the home, about Africa, about women acting like ladies instead of "hoodlum's". She is sharp as a tack! She seemed so much better than the time I first met her in the shoe store. Before we left I asked her if I could get my picture taken with her...

"Well, I don't like havin' my picture taken much, but if you'll promise to send me the picture, I'll let ya!"


All those years of being "feared". Of being the town "crazy" person. What must have gone through her little mind? Oh, how my heart aches for her. I want her to feel valued. Capable. LOVED!

When I left her, I gave her another hug and said I would come back to see her. On my way out, I stopped by the nurses station and asked a few questions...

"Can I leave my information, and you contact me if she needs anything?"

The receptionist said, "Well, sure, I mean, she has no family, so you're pretty much it!".

Those words. "I'm it."

Well, if I'm it, I'm not going to give up on my sweet Annabelle. My boys are already drawing her pictures. Paul asked what kinds of things we were allowed to send her. Nothing chewy - she doesn't have any teeth. We're being creative. One thing I asked her in one of my letters to her, is if she knew God loved her. Her response was, "I know God loves me and I love Him for it!" What a treasure to know I will see Annabelle again in heaven. Hopefully, I'll get to see her a few more times on earth too! This is what remains of the old shoe store.