Rice Cereal - The Miracle Food - Maybe.

Ever since Lucas starting eating a couple of tablespoons of rice cereal a day he has been sleeping eight to nine hours a night. (In fact a couple of nights ago he slept almost ten!) The only problem with this scenario is that he is sleeping through the night, but he absolutely refuses to sleep during the day. Argh! I used to be able to count on him sleeping about an hour and a half to two hours in the mid morning time, so I was able to get things done. Getting a full night's sleep again is so nice and wonderful. But that sleep is bought at the price of not being able to accomplish much during the day. I have finally come to the conclusion that I am going to have to set him in his swing (where he used to do most of his sleeping during the day) and just let him fuss for the time it takes me to do a task, i.e. clean the kitchen; write this blog; write on a writing project. Then, if he hasn't fussed himself to sleep, I'll hold him for a while, put him back in the swing and so on and so forth. For a couple of months I had a pretty good little routine going when he slept during the day, but now we have to start that process all over again - which is really what this whole parenting thing is all about: adaptability and adjustment - though I may be driven nuts occasionally by all the adapting.

I love watching my children go through all of their different stages. Sometimes, though, I catch myself being worried that they are "behind." That they are not doing the things that some other kid is doing, so I must be falling down on the job and not fulfilling my parental duties. I have to remind myself of all of the things that they are doing daily and remember to be careful not to drown their love of learning, being and doing.

Repost of MySpace Blog from November

Just reposting an old MySpace Blog so I can link to it. :)

Where are we going?

Two years ago I wrote a blog about what seemed to me to be some bleak election news. At the time, I tried to put as positive a spin on it as possible. I remembered then, as I remember today, that my trust is not in things of this world and that I have a faith and a hope in a far greater kingdom than any that this world has ever seen. I still hold to those beliefs and I am always grateful that I have that peace that holds me through all things. I remember how it held my grandmother up as she battled cancer at too early an age. Every one of her nurses fell in love with her kind, sweet spirit and she directed all the praise and glory back to her Father who always sustained her. Drawing on things that she and many others have taught me, I know that there are no circumstances in this world that can take away that peace and joy.

All of that being said, I found myself waking up this morning feeling quite depressed. Just after my dear husband left for work this morning, I lay wide awake in my bed at four o'clock wondering how it is that so many in our country could be so inviting of the socialist agenda that Mr. Barak Obama promises to bring with him to the highest office in our land.

As I pondered this for a moment, I remembered conversations that I have had with friends, family and co-workers over the last few weeks and months and even years. The troubling facts became all too clear to me this dark morning as I lay there in the dark. These events should not be surprising to me. The idea of turning our great republic into a socialist nation is nothing new. There have been many "social reforms" down through the years as our country has grown up. These social reforms are exactly that…socialist ideas that we have embraced, accepted and, often, come to think of as normal and right.

As far back as the early 1800's socialist reformers began introducing the idea of a common (or public) school system in our country. As with most of the social reforms (or socialist agendas) that have come along over the years, this one sounded good on the surface. The socialist spin: All children should have equal opportunity to education. The true socialist agenda: The state, rather than the individual should have control over when, where and what my child is taught. As usual, when individual freedoms are taken away and replaced by the "better" efforts of the government, this socialist experiment has failed and failed badly. Not only are our educational standards increasingly sub-standard, but the stated goals of its extremely socialist minded founder, Horace Mann, have never been met. There is still no "equality" in education. Not only were women and people of other races besides white prohibited from attending public schools for many years, but to this day public schools in poorer areas such as our inner cities are notorious for being places where very little learning is done. From Horace Mann to John Dewey, the "Father of Progressive Education," a clear study of their own statements shows that they all had a similar agenda – that being to create a monopoly in the realm of ideas so that their own personal vision of society could be put forward. The best way to do this? Gain control as early as possible over the minds of the young.

Another great socialist agenda propagated in the late 1800's and coming to fruition in the twentieth century was the women's suffrage movement. The socialist spin: Women should have equal rights as men. The true socialist agenda: Society should be re-defined to conform to the feminist ideal. In 1921 Lenin bragged that "in Soviet Russia, no trace is left of any inequality between men and women under the law." Sounds like utopia, no? An article in the Atlantic Monthly from 1926 describes the Bolsheviki of Russia as hating the family and pulling out all the stops to destroy this most basic of institutions. Make no mistake, Susan B. Anthony and many of her sister suffragists held this same view. The soviet government enforced their changes immediately and with devastating effect. In his book Perestroika, Mikhail Gorbachev reflected on 70 years of Russian turmoil: "We have discovered that many of our problems — in children's and young people's behavior, in our morals, culture and in production — are partially caused by the weakening of family ties." Socialists in our own country have not had the same opportunity to advance their agenda, but they have slowly, but surely undermined the family in many ways throughout the years and continue to do so. Because "pro-choice" has become the feminist byword, I find the following quote by Simone de Beauvoir, a leading radical feminist in the last century, to be quite telling: "No woman should be authorized to stay at home to raise her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one."

One major bit of socialist reform that has come down the pike in recent history is Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal. This little bit of reform brought with it a program that was so unmitigatingly socialist in its origins that it even included the word Social in its title. Social Security. The socialist spin: Those affected by the great depression should have some kind of relief from their suffering. The true socialist agenda: Begin the process of creating a centralized governmentally controlled financial system through which all of the citizens will eventually be supported, i.e. do away with capitalism and redistribute the wealth. Many well known economists since then have argued that FDR's New Deal actually prolonged and deepened the great depression. In a very good article entitled The New Deal Debunked Thomas J. DiLorenzo, a professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland, quotes many of those economists and states that "it was capitalism that finally ended the Great Depression, not FDR's harebrained cartel, wage- increasing, unionizing, and welfare state expanding policies." Just one of the many travesties committed during this time period comes from my own personal history. I have heard the story of my great-grandfather's cow since I was a very young girl. During the time FDR was enacting his "harebrained" schemes, my great-grandparents owned a milk cow. The government decided that if this family no longer had their own milk cow, then they would go out and buy their milk elsewhere and therefore better the economy. The great problem with this theory is that my great-grandparents and their four children, like so many others of the time, were just scraping by. So, when the government came in and killed their cow, they didn't run out and buy milk. They simply went without.

These examples are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to social reforms/socialist agendas that have been slowly brought into our thinking and infiltrated the way that we live our daily lives. Over the years, we have come to think of some of these social reforms as the only way to live. Therefore, the results of yesterday's election should not surprise me.

As I said at the beginning of this blog, my hope is not in things of this world and I know that no matter what yesterday brought, today holds or tomorrow brings, I am ready.

Life Rolls On

So, life continues to roll on. Lucas has been with us 2 1/2 months now and he is a precious addition. It's hard to imagine how we lived before he was here. I took a couple months off from other pursuits to focus on getting some sleep, but now that things are a little bit back to normal (whatever that is) I'm trying to get back into the game. I've been writing, looking for new freelance projects and even actually keeping the house clean again.

A couple of days ago the heat pump (which controls both heating and cooling) went out on our house. So, to get out of the house for the day on Saturday, we decided to make a trip to someplace at a bit of a higher elevation. We headed to Oak Creek Canyon and played by the creek all afternoon. My brother, Andrew, and his lovely wife, Kami, met us there. We had a really great time hanging out, swimming, playing games, and just enjoying one another.

I am so thankful that I am past the huge emotional ups and downs that accompanied Lucas home and now feel fully back into the land of the living!!!

long memory

Nicole has always amazed me (and those who hang out with her on a regular basis) with her long memory. She uses the phrase "last night" to loosely mean any time before around two hours ago. She will come in and say, "Remember when we went fishing at the lake last night and I lost my fishing pole and we had to buy a new one?" (This conversation happened a couple of days ago and said fishing trip happened last summer.) I am just always in awe of how far back her memory will go, even though she seems to believe that everything in the past happened just a night ago.

Yesterday she really freaked me out, though. She is going to be one of those people that tell you they can remember experiences in the cradle and you may be skeptical, but I am telling you right now - believe it. :-) Yesterday Joe went out to the garage and pulled out the Graco traveling playpen / bassinet / changing table thingy that I used with Nicole. We are going to use it in our room for the new baby to sleep in when he/she arrives in a couple of weeks. It's a great thing to have around (but I digress into another blog post.) Anyway, he pulled it out and set it in the living room for inspection and cleanup. Keep in mind that this thing has been in storage since Nicole was probably 7 to 8 months old. She looked at it, picked up the Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet spinning mobile that attaches to it and told Joe, "My mom used to spin this for me when I was a little baby." Whoa! What?!? She remembers that! We have not had this thing around in the house. No one has told her what the mobile is or how it was used. It wasn't even attached to the thing so that she could see it in motion. SHE REMEMBERS IT! So, here is my word of warning to all of you that know her - be careful of what you say and do around her. If it's something you don't want her repeating that you said or did in 10 or 12 years, don't do it! :-)

She's A Schulte!!!

Today was adoption day and it is official! She's a Schulte! Nicole woke up this morning at 4:30 and there was no getting her back to sleep. I think some of the excitement that we have been feeling must have been rubbing off on her. She was just wide awake and wanted to know where we were going today and when were we leaving. Here are some pictures of the occasion:


Tomorrow is the big day! We have the official adoption hearing at 1:30. Nicole will be an official Schulte. We had a party Saturday with immediate family. It was a great day and celebration of this really momentous event. We are so blessed!

I've been in a sentimental mood this week - which is only to be expected what with all the special occasions in the works around here. This week we had a new neighbor over to dinner to get to know him better and we have the adoption, a final ultrasound, my wonderful long-time friend Lyn coming to visit and a neighborhood get-together to paint the home of a dear friend who is an older woman and whose house desperately needed a paint job. All of these things just serve to underscore my mood of feeling so completely blessed to be just totally surrounded by wonderful, caring people whom I love dearly. Thanks to all of you for being a part of our lives!

Life Goes On

There has been so much going on lately around here. Here are some of the highlights:

ADOPTION UPDATE: This coming Wednesday evening we will have our social worker visit. The following Tuesday is our meeting with the county attorney to finalize everything and then the Tuesday after that - April 21 - is our court hearing at which Nicole will become an official Schulte!

Around that same time, Joe and I are looking forward to spending some time with my little brother Sam when he comes to visit us on his Spring Break. And in June we'll have Nicole's recital and maybe a baby shower, too. So, the old adage is true in our case...there really is no rest for the wicked. Hmmmm...

We're only about 5 weeks away from the arrival of our next little Schulte! Can't wait to find out if we get to use the name Lucas or the name Ruth. :-)

I've been doing more writing as well. I am participating in the Poem-A-Day Challenge at Robert Lee Brewer's blog Poetic Asides in honor of National Poetry Month. If you would like to keep track of my daily poems, you can follow my postings of them at my other blog - http://tonyaroot.blogspot.com

I am also still trying to build up some freelance writing work. Because of the work I have been doing on the newsletter for Bear Camp Cabins in Tennessee, I recently was offered some work doing newsletter writing for at least one and maybe three more cabin rental companies as well. Hopefully that will lead to even more opportunity in that area.

Living a Transparent Life

I am feeling very vulnerable today. I have spent the better part of my almost 30 years on this earth trying to make sure that the majority of the people around me like me. I like being liked. (Who doesn't?) I like the feeling that others around me understand and appreciate me. Yesterday I decided, upon some advice from a very trusted mentor, that I would share something with trusted friends and family members that I felt had the potential to be cause for some of them not to like my stance on a certain subject. I sent an email and got two immediate responses from some folks that found my stance offensive. I make no apologies for my stance. It was in defense of human life, which I feel is under attack these days (well, all days, really - since the fall of man in the garden of Eden.) Anyway, I felt that I had to speak up and state my belief even though it meant not being liked. Last night I shed a few tears as I went to bed. I realized that they were shed in fear. I am afraid of being truly open with others about who I really am. But, at almost 30 years old, I am beginning to realize that I must learn to live this way - with authenticity and transparency. I recently told a close friend that I believe that one can be considered a liar by omission. I told him that by his choosing not to reveal something that he knew could have the potential for causing a scene, he had chosen to lie and that when the truth was out, this had caused much more heartache in the end than had he just said what was going on. I believe this. Now, I realize, I must live that. I can't tell him that is truth and not desire that truth to be self-evident in my own life.

What it boils down to for me is trust. I have read and re-read Brennan Manning's book, Ruthless Trust, many times and the truth of the book is astounding to me. For one thing, I believe that Mr. Manning is an authentic guy. He tells his life story with incredible openness. He came to realize that by trusting God fully, he could be exactly who God wants him to be. I have to let go of my need to be liked by all those around me and focus on trusting. I know that my fear came not out of trust, but out of selfishness. I feel that I have given up something by saying, "I believe this..." whether it is popular to believe that or not.

In the end it is all about the journey. Every day brings me one step closer in my journey towards God and towards being that person that He wants me to be. Transparency is one part of that picture.

Cool Chinaberry blog post

In a follow-up to the blog that I posted the other day, here is something I recently read that brought home to me some of the points that I wrote about last. http://blog.chinaberry.com/2009/02/fully-engaging-with-our-children/#comment-526

Several moments come to mind today that strike me as good "engaged" moments with Nicole. I left Nicole with her Nana at nap time so that I could head into town and run an errand. She not only went straight into bed without arguing (yay!) but as I walked out the door, she and Nana were reading a story. (Nana told me later that Nicole went right to sleep without fussing.) Before this, Nana, Nicole and I had lunch together and then we stood outside on this gloriously beautiful spring day and threw a frisbee around for about 20 minutes. Later, when I picked her up from Nana's, she, Daddy and I got to play more frisbee at home and also catch with her baseball. Then, she helped Daddy clean out the dog's pen and to put a new air filter in the heating system. We all sat down for dinner together (a nightly tradition that is cherished at our house) and talked about our days. What a fabulous day!

Learning to Live It Rather Than Teach It

There is no doubt in my mind that I have led an incredibly blessed life. I was blessed to have parents who early on saw the value in allowing me to pursue my own creative interests and knew the importance of helping me to be an independent thinker. The values and ideas that they instilled in me carry through to today.

One aspect they had little to no control over, however, was the set of personality traits I was born with and developed at an early age. I am a perfectionist. I tend to constantly agonize over whether or not the tasks to which I set my hands are being done absolutely perfectly. I must admit that the older I get, the more I realize the impossibility of this outcome, but it is still something I must contend with on a daily basis. As a mom, I worry that my parenting efforts are imperfect and that I will scar my daughter for life through my inadequacies.

Most recently, I have been struggling with the idea that I should make sure that Nicole is learning all of the things that she "should" be learning at this age. Partly because I want her to be able to take advantage of all the opportunity that she can in this world and be prepared to take it full on when she leaves our home, but also - I must admit - in part because I worry that other children are "ahead" of her or that other people will question our chosen parenting style if she is not "on track."

Over the last few days I have come across several books and blogs and other items that have reminded me of the silliness of this approach to Nicole's learning. I have been reminded that children have an innate desire to learn and that this will continue into adulthood if not squashed by boredom or enforced learning methods that don't mesh with her learning style. I have been reminded that my calling is not so much to be her "teacher" as it is to be her guide and example as to how life is lived and enjoyed and taken in. Here is a quote that I love by a mom out of one of the books I am reading right now: "Dan and I like doing and learning and living, so we have lots of stuff around to help us do that. The kids are welcome to use whatever of it they wish." That, to me embodies the kind of household we want to have. Joe and I have interests and a love of learning and we will pass on those loves and encourage the children to pursue their own interests and studies.

Even at this early age, Nicole has gone through several different "phases" in which she wanted to know more about a particular subject. She liked playing with fake foods for a while, but she is not as into that now. For a while, everything she did was pirate related and we heard a lot of "Arr, matey" and "avast ye!" around the house. We also have several broken plastic swords from hard fought sword fights between her and her dad or her and I. At one point, she was quite interested in dinosaurs and surprised her dad and I by learning names she still pronounces with no hesitation - words such as pterodactyl and triceratops. Lately, I've noticed an interest in leaves. She always wants to pick up leaves when we are out and wants to know what kind of leaves they are (which is a challenge for me, but we try and find out as soon as we get back to the computer!) Recently she watched a phonics DVD over and over and has become very proficient at pronouncing the sounds of the alphabet and becomes especially excited when she spots an "N" anywhere because it is just like the first letter of her own name. I blogged recently about our breakthrough with 1+1 and just yesterday I asked her if she could tell our friend Kami the result of that problem and she thought for a second before proudly proclaiming "2!" I could go on and on with the ways that I observe her on a daily basis exploring our world and soaking in information.

I am so thankful for the recent reminders that the pursuit of knowledge comes naturally and my purpose these days is to be the facilitator of as many learning opportunities as possible - NOT to make sure she is mastering the skill level arbitrarily set up by some outside source and NOT to insist that she learn something when I want her to and in the way I want her to learn it, but to allow her the freedoms that my parents allowed me - to be myself and to learn all of the things that it was important for me to know.

Reorganizing Priorities

Recently I had fallen into a routine around here that included spending most of the day on the computer rather than with my beautiful little girl. She was spending a lot of her time in front of the ultimate electronic babysitter the television. Ugh...

Quite a few events of the last few days have brought home the point that this could not go on. We have to have time together. No more day-long facebook marathons. No more repeated Google searches on inane subjects. The priority around here for all of us will be to spend much more time together as a family. Joe and I need "us" time, Nicole and I need our time together and Joe and Nicole need their daddy-daughter time. Starting today Nicole's TV time is restricted and our together time was greatly increased. What better way could there be to spend my time than with this gorgeous and darling little beauty who has so much to teach me still?

I am so thankful that our gracious God brought this point home to me in so many powerful ways the last few days. I pray that I will not lose sight of it any time soon!

Adoption Update

Joe and I are going today to sign and have notarized the final petition before the court for Joe's adoption of Nicole. Once we have sent this petition in, we will be scheduled for an in-home visit by a social worker and we will then be served notice of our final hearing date. According to the information I have from the lady we are dealing with at the County Attorney's office, the final hearing is basically a formality once everything else is done. So, potentially the adoption could be final by the end of March. We plan to have a little party for her then in recognition of the momentus day! As soon as we know more information we will share it with all of you who are sharing this exciting journey with us. :-)

Slow Internet Blues

My internet connection has been non-existent or extremely slow for just over 24 hours now. When one is as addicted to the internet as I am, this is not a good situation. Imagine not being able to post a facebook status for hours at a time...oh the horror! :-)

Poor Nicole, who takes after her mother in so many ways (*sigh*) has also been feeling the effects of this. When you want to play with games that take a few minutes to load on a regular day (we have a rural wireless connection, folks - it's not dial-up, but it's not exactly lightning fast either) you get very frustrated with waiting 15 minutes just to get to your Dora the Explorer game.

Ah well, I'm sure our internet service provider is doing all they can to correct the situation - leastaways that's what they've been telling me via their automated system for the last 24 hours.

Anywho - check out my latest blog over at The Root Cause - http://tonyaroot.blogspot.com It's longer and it's more interesting than this one, methinks. :-)

My Gypsy Blood

I seem to have been born a gypsy. When I was young, we often lived in very small spaces. Sometimes at night after the lights were out Mom and I would coax Dad into singing a certain song. It went something like this - "Oh, I was born the next of kin, the next of kin, to the wayward wind." I think that is the true story of my life. I've never been happy in one place for very long. I can't wait to move on to the next great place. Tonight Joe and I looked around on TV for a movie to watch together. We had a choice between The Bourne Supremacy and Under the Tuscan Sun. We went with Bourne and it was enjoyable. But both had an immediate encore presentation, so we switched over to Tuscan Sun next. Joe couldn't keep his eyes open long enough to watch that chick flick through to the very end. But it's one of my favorites and all it kept making me think is, Wouldn't it be great to have a new Italian experience? But, of course, I'd settle for a Floridian experience or a San Franciscan experience or myriad other experiences. I wonder if my wonderful Joe, who was born and raised in Arizona and has never lived anywhere else, knows exactly what he has gotten himself into.

I keep trying to convince myself that I should be learning to be content in every situation, but I also feel that I was created this way for a purpose. What that purpose might be - who can say? Maybe it is simply to teach me the true meaning of learning to be content in all circumstances...but maybe not.

The Simple Things

Today was a good day. Nicole woke up at 3:30 as Joe was leaving for work and she was so full of energy that there was no getting her back down. After about a two hour struggle I think she finally dozed off around 5:30 and then she and I slept until 8:30. When we finally got out of bed, I had several phone calls to make, some business to attend to and housework to do before Nicole and I did some "school work." Shortly after 12 as I was making lunch, Nicole came in and was so cute and so happy and bubbly I thought my heart might burst. I watched her and couldn't believe that her head is now taller than the kitchen counter and that she speaks in full sentences with such a great vocabulary. It seems like just yesterday that she was rolling around on the floor making gurgling sounds and now she is such a little person! I just had to take a picture right then and there to remember the moment.
Shortly after nap time, Joe arrived home and we enjoyed our daily afternoon ritual of playing tickle and cuddle on Mom and Dad's bed. Joe made another comment about how big Nicole is getting when he tried to pick her up (she weighed in at 49 lbs. the other day at the doctor's) and recalled how he used to just pick her up with one hand and now it is hard to pick her up with two! We made dinner together and cleared the table, then enjoyed conversation together over our taco bowls. After dinner we played a game of Uno Spin. Nicole is just learning how to play, so she plays with her cards face up. She likes that she can match the colors and symbols all by herself to figure out which one to play. After the game, Joe and I brought out a box of puzzles he got for his birthday and started a 500 piece.

It is just so wonderful to spend time with my family and to enjoy them. I am so glad that we spend time doing things together. God is good and we are blessed!

Preschool Wonders

I love this time of Nicole's life when she is soaking up any and everything in the world around her. As previously mentioned on this blog, it amazes me how well she can handle herself on a computer. She and I have been working with some alphabet flash cards so she can start learning her letters and begin to understand how the little bit of "decoding" she has been doing of the words all around her works. She loves these particular cards because they are write and wipe, so she can practise writing the letters and she loves having a pen in her hand. Today she and I got very excited because she did her first official math problem and began to understand the idea behind the numbers. We have some magnetic refrigerator toys that are in the shape of numbers and mathematical symbols that we have had on our refrigerator almost since the time we moved into this house a year and several months ago. She loves to play with them and knows what all of the numbers are, but today is the first day that she began to get an inkling of their significance. I grabbed two of her colored plastic forks out of the drawer and asked her to do a math problem that my mom and I have both shown her before. I put first one and then the other fork in front of her and asked her how many forks you had if you put one and one together. She answered two. Then I drew out this mathematical problem using the fridge magnets and showed her how the numbers and symbols went together to make the problem work. After several times of showing it to her with the forks and with the numbers she got all excited and started telling me, "1+1=2! 1+1=2!" She was quite excited and so was I. I have never felt more excited about this venture we are setting out on called "home schooling." I now know a modicum of the thrills and chills my mother must have felt over the twelve years she taught me. Thanks, Mom!

Lots to do in the New Year

2008 was a full year and 2009 looks like it will be the same. As our family and friends know, we are expecting the newest addition to the Schulte family in May. And before then Joe's adoption of Nicole should be final, so by mid-'09 we will have an official Schulte family of four!

During the last part of 2008 I began working for a small masonry company three days as the bookkeeper. Shortly after I started, the office manager moved on to pursue other opportunities and I took over the position of managing the office. To make a very long story short, the company that I worked for was a partnership that dissolved a few months later. The partner for whom I worked directly has done all in his power to resolve the issues honestly and fairly, but the other partner continues to do things in a very underhanded way and refuses to work toward an amicable and easy resolution. My boss is attempting to start a company on his own, but the banking crisis and lack of funding for new building projects in our area is making that a hard thing to do. I continue to help him out here and there with various things he needs done, but for now I am home mostly full time. I plan to use this time at home in much the same way I used it last summer - writing, writing and more writing. Also, based on a recent idea of my mother's we are working on a new business idea that we hope to turn into a business venture. I'll be devoting quite a bit of time to that as well.

Besides writing and working on business ventures, I of course spend quite a bit of time during the day chasing down my crazy little three year old. She just started taking dance lessons and will have a recital in June. She loves to dance and seems to be enjoying her classes, though we've only been to two so far. She is so smart, too! She gave her Papa a lesson yesterday on how to operate the computer. She has certain games that she is allowed to play on the internet at Playhouse Disney and Nick Jr. websites. She has been playing them for quite a few months and it is amazing to me what she can do on the computer already. Besides that, she recently decoded the word Pizza on her own, so she is well on her way to becoming an early reader. She is also a regular little girl who loves to play with her dollhouse and get out in the back yard and get dirty.

I look forward to all that 2009 holds and am sure there will be more than a few surprises coming our way. I can't wait to write and share them with you all here. Don't forget I'll also be posting updates on all of my writing ventures at my blog The Root Cause - http://tonyaroot.blogspot.com.