Thursday, October 29, 2009

Exciting News

Just a few weeks ago, Jeremy and I were asked to be the Shoals Area Ambassador Family for the 2010 March of Dimes March for Babies. This is a charity close to our hearts and we were so honored to be asked to help with their big fundraiser!!

Jeremy is doing his part to garner support from area businesses and institutions. He is so good at talking to people and telling our story so I'm thankful that God has placed this opportunity in our life!

It's a far-fetched wish but I hope that the MOD can continue to develop research and cures for birth defects like Lizzy Ann's. No parent should ever hear the news we heard on December 30, 2008 and the MOD is continuing to make developments in the treatment of birth defects while babies are in-utero so that can be changed for all families.

We are in the very beginning stages of this great event but we would like to ask for your prayers and support as we do what we feel is God's will for us as Lizzy Ann's parents. Every phone call we make or personal email we send in an effort to raise money for the MOD will be in honor of our precious girl. Her life on earth was brief but her legacy will be one that leads to starting healthy lives for thousands of other babies born in our area.

Other news....

Work. Work. Work. and a little more Work. This time of year is always busy for a band director and Jeremy stays busy with his classes, committee work, consultant status and research. We are very thankful to have great jobs in this economy so we will NOT complain about working!! I was asked to teach a few lessons again at UNA (bassoon) so I'm excited about that starting up next week. After Christmas 2008, I really didn't play my bassoon at all until a few weeks ago. That's the absolute longest I've ever put it down but I needed that time to just not think about music. Happy to get back to playing and performing.

We are taking a break in November to go to Alaska. Our friends, the Lynch's, moved there in July and we wanted to go visit them and see the beautiful Alaskan scenery. I am slightly concerned about the weather while we will be there because I'm pretty cold-natured and I may turn into a popsicle while I'm there!! I've researched heated underwear but it would be my luck to get a short it my shorts while out skiing or something. I did purchase a few hats, gloves and earmuffs at TJMaxx yesterday so maybe I'll be warm-enough!

One more soapbox.... :)

For a long time now, I've been conscious about removing a word from my vocabulary that is now common vernacular for silly, stupid, dumb, funny, etc... and it's the r-word (i.e. "retard" or "retarded"). I've listened to students say if for too long and over the past few years I've outlawed it in my presence. Today, I had a student bust out with the r-word in the middle of a class and I was SHOCKED at the number of kids that just didn't care that it was an inappropriate term. So now, I'm on the warpath to ELIMINATE this word from the vocabulary of the students at my school. I pledged my support to "Spreading the Word to End the Word" at and I would ask you to do the same.

I want to encourage EVERYONE to stop using the r-word and replace it with intellectual disability if you are referring to a person and if you are using the r-word as a demeaning, deragatory or mis-guided joke then STOP using it.

Stepping down off soap box......

Thank you for continuing to read. Love you all.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

In Heaven's Arms

In late June, my dear friend, Krista, sent me an email with a mp3 of a beautiful song called "In Heaven's Arms" by composer Eric Genuis. Krista is an amazing soprano that I became friends with while at UA. We were sisters in SAI and have remained in contact through the years.

I have selfishly kept this song to myself for the past few months and listen to it in the car almost everyday on my way to work. It's been my little private time with God and Lizzy Ann but I wanted to share not only Krista's beautiful voice (and sweet spirit) but the talent of Eric Genuis.

Mr. Genuis and his wife have lost 7 babies to various complications and his faith is apparent in these beautiful songs. Please visit his site and listen to his other works.

Thank you, Krista. Much love. -Johnna

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife lost one of their daughters in a freak accident this past year and he has written this beautiful song for his new album (due out November 3rd). She was 5 years old.

I cannot imagine loving a precious child and raising them only to have them taken home too early. This song is just beautiful. Have some tissues.

We love you all.