Thursday, April 9, 2009

My Quest For Creativity

In a somewhat "desperate" attempt to develop my creative & artistic skills (of which I have little), I hastily decided to apply for Cosmetology School! This is really a major departure for me, and I suppose the reason I decided to pursue this avenue was because of my newfound love for hair & makeup. Never before have I been interested in those things. I was always hesitant to experiment with my hair & face, so I pretty much just ignored it all!

Last November, as previously blogged, I got my first-ever layered haircut & style from my now-fave salon, "Hair By Carlos." I was scared to take the risk at the time, but they talked me into it & it turned out so beautifully! So, after that, I REALLY got into learning to do my own "blowouts" & experimenting with different styling products. I am turning into a real "bathroom hog" at home! :)

Being able to style my hair & make it look pretty everyday has given me the confidence to start playing with makeup, as well. I really enjoy trying the different colors & combinations...

So, I guess all this is to say that I feel like I need to develop my "artistic" creativity even further. That's why I decided to check into cosmetology school. Now, I LOVE my jobs as a preschool teacher and babysitter, and I feel like working with children is definitely my true calling; cosmetology just seemed like a fun, experimental thing to try.

So, I contacted a local beauty school (Sunstate Academy) & they set up a meeting so I could go in the school & tour it, as well as get basic information. Well, the meeting turned out to be 2 hours long, with a full interview & tour! I was a bit overwhelmed, but apparently did great in the interview. The lady I spoke with gave me lots of encouragement & told me that I would be a great candidate for the year-long program. Unfortunately, the cost of tuition is about $13,000! I won't qualify for a grant; only student loans. I really, REALLY don't need to incur any more debt & I'm sure that's not God's plan for me.

Anyway, as you're probably surmising, I am seriously second-guessing this decision. I did fill out an application & paid a $15-fee to do so, therefore they probably think I am fairly serious about this decision... I just wish I could go there for some kind of trial-run! As I toured the salon floor, I absolutely could not picture myself doing what the students do (cutting hair, doing nails, facials, etc.). I felt pretty uncomfortable there; sort of like an impostor! I guess I enjoy being a CLIENT more than I would enjoy being an actual STYLIST!

I am scheduled to meet with a financial aid advisor at the school this Saturday morning at 9, so I am seriously considering calling to just cancel the whole thing. I love what I do now too much to sacrifice some of that time to beauty school. It's just not right for ME...

I've been pretty long-winded here, but I just had to get this all out of my system, I suppose. There are LOTS of other (cheaper) ways to expand my creative skills, I suppose! Thank you for reading & I hope to read some comments! :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Disney Cruise?!?!

Man, do I LOVE Facebook! I was "eavesdropping" on a FB conversation between 2 mutual friends this afternoon... they were talking about getting a group of people together to sail away on a Disney Cruise this December! I guess we can get great rates. This would be a dream-come-true, of sorts, for me -- I've been wanting to go on a cruise for a very long time, but never have. I hope it all works out so I can do it! Wish me luck! :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Past Few Months In a Nutshell!

Wow! I guess it's been a LONG time since I last updated this thingie! :) A lot has been going on since November 2008!

On November 9, I got an amazing haircut from the fine people at a local salon (Hair By Carlos). They gave me layers & kind of a side-sweepy style... I LOVE it! I was always afraid to get layers in my hair, but I trusted them & let 'em do their thang! I'm so glad I did! I have another appointment with them this Saturday morning... I can't wait!

In mid-November, my stepmom's father passed away. He was about 83 years old, I believe. He battled cancer for many, many months & finally went to be with the Lord on November 13. Me & my family attended his funeral up in Tampa. It was a blessed time. I will miss "grandpa" Bill dearly! He was a wonderful, funny man who was a great blessing to so many! Oh, an interesting fact about him... just a few years prior to his passing, Bill accepted Christ as his Savior! Praise God! Just goes to show that no one is past the point of ability to do so!

My family had a wonderful Christmas in December... lots of togetherness & fun gifts!

January was a relatively quiet month... lots of babysitting for me, which I LOVE (more on that later!).

In February, me & my dad, stepmom, & 2 brothers moved into a home in central Ft. Myers. It's in a quiet little neighborhood on a dead-end street. It's small, but cozy, in a way. By the end of the month, I had finally gotten my own CAR! I haven't had a vehicle of my own since November of 2007! Praise the LORD! It's nothing too fancy; a 1991 Ford T-Bird... but it only cost me $800 & it came with just 42,000 miles on it!!!!! What a BLESSING! It's got a few little issues here & there, but nothing too crazy-expensive, I guess! Thank you to Sarah Garrett for setting up the whole deal for me! :)

Now we come to March. I write this on March 25 & am right in the thick of doing a LOT of recent babysitting! I adore it! I am up to about 8 families (15 or so kids) that I care for, locally. I love ALL the wonderful children in my care! I feel like I am getting so much great "mommy training" for later in life! And I get PAID to do it! lol... I even created some business cards online last night (www.vistaprint.com) for my "ministry." I really do feel like this is the perfect ministry for me. Between this & my jobs in preschool, I am definitely happy & passionate about what I'm doing!

In today's dwindling economy, I very much realize how fortunate I am to have all the "jobs" I do! Praise God!

Friday, November 14, 2008

If This Is What I Have To Do, So Be It.

I've decided to take to the Internets for the proper motivation I need for this. My latest goal is to lose 11 pounds by Christmas day. I figure if I put this out there for all to see, then I will have more motivation to SUCCEED! So, that's pretty much it! I've already lost about 20 lbs. since March, but I want to look extra-hot for Christmas! :-) Wish me luck! Oh, and please comment if you actually read this. I need to know that there's someone out there watching. lol

UPDATE (11/19/08): Thanks to advice from an awesome mom at the preschool (where I work), I've decided to start an official Running Plan! The plan can be found at http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml. Thanks, Leonor! :)

2nd UPDATE (11/20/08): Well, I just got home from my first running workout! It was actually more challenging than I though it'd be! :-) That's good, though... for sure. I am really excited about continuing with this thing!

3rd UPDATE (11/26/08): So far, I have completed my first 4 run/walk workouts. Haven't missed a day! It really IS getting easier, and I'm finding that I have more endurance & can run farther than I was able to in the 1st workout! I can't WAIT to see the "finish line!" :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Things Are CRAZY Right Now!

Hey all! Just wanted to post a quick update... me & the fam are MOVING out of this house (in Cape Coral) TOMORROW! With the widespread economic downturn, we simply cannot afford to stay in our current home any longer. Me, dad & Sharon (my step-mom) have been house-hunting at a furious pace these last several days. There are SO many homes for sale & rent in this area, that we're bound to find something quickly. Everything's so cheap, too... thank the Lord!

So, that's happening...

Also, wanted to keep you apprised of my progress with my new fitness regime! I started working out (as mentioned in a prior blog entry) in mid-July. I have been attending a twice-a-week class at my church and it's been AWESOME! Every single workout is a challenge... in a good way, of course! Thank goodness I stopped experiencing muscle soreness after the first month or so, though! :) Anyway, I've lost about 15 lbs. since July! I have also, more recently, started doing ZUMBA! Google it if you don't know what it is. It's a great cardio workout and SO much fun! I'm actually "addicted" to it! But what an awesome addiction it is! I've been doing Zumba 2 to 3 times/week for the past 3 weeks, now.

Other than that, things have been fairly status-quo. Still working part-time in the preschool & volunteering every Friday night with "Celebrate Recovery!" I love it!

Well, thanks as usual, for reading my blog! Holla' if ya hear me! :) I still have NO comments! lol

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My REAL Career Goal


I found this essay I wrote (for myself; not for school) in the annals of my laptop computer, recently. I wrote this in October 2005, at the age of 25. I have not made any edits/changes, whatsoever. I often get asked what my career goal is... nothing has changed since I wrote the following:


REGARDING MY CAREER GOAL
by Angela S. Lucas

Ultimately, I want to be a wife and a mother. I sort of think of it as a “lost art.” It just seems that the proper raising up of children doesn’t hold the same value it once did. This is very disheartening. Children really are the future, and it is up to parents to teach and raise them in the very best way possible. Children need discipline. They need to understand who is boss in the family. These days, it’s increasingly difficult to make that distinction. Also, it is a fact that kids who are well-disciplined grow up to truly respect their parents. Children experience a mother and father’s love not only through affection, but through discipline, as well!

I also firmly believe that children require both a mother and a father to raise them properly! That is God’s intention and it’s what our society so desperately needs. As I stated, I wish to be both a mother and a wife. I desire to be the very best wife I can possibly be. I would be respectful, supportive, loving and attentive toward my husband. I would do my utmost to ensure all his needs and wants are met. I believe in having a cheerful, proactive attitude in everything as much as possible. I’d desire to build him up, not tear him down emotionally -- so that he may be the best husband and father that he could be. As husband and wife we would exhibit Christ’s love to our children in every way. We would attend and participate in church regularly and do our very best to teach the children in the ways of the Lord.

As parents, I believe it’s very important to show respect and true affection for one another in front of your children. Praising one another and sharing hugs and kisses demonstrate to the children how much mommy and daddy love and care for one another. This can be a strong thread that helps tie the family together. Also, in the vein of respect, it is critical that husband and wife show respect for one another even when not in each other’s presence. When speaking of each other to their respective friends, no harsh or critical words should flow from their lips. This can cause rumors and gossip to spread, which inadvertently weakens and harms the relationship. As a wife, I will strive to be my husband’s biggest supporter. I believe strongly in the ideal of the Proverbs 31 woman. As it says in that chapter of the Bible, “she does him [her husband] good and not harm all the days of her life.” That sentence is striking to me because all the days of your life also include the time before you even meet. In my view, that means showing respect for your future husband with proper behavior and attitudes in your current relationships with men. Maintaining chastity is definitely a wonderful show of respect for your future mate. You should keep yourself pure and holy as a precious gift to your future mate.

Again on the subject of motherhood, I believe it should be a study. Of course, children don’t come with owner’s manuals, but women should seek out Godly, exemplary mothers with whom they are acquainted to learn from their parenting methods. I also think you should read as much as you can about some of the technical aspects of motherhood. Never stop learning.

Being a great wife and mother should be the second greatest passion in your life, after God. Even if you work in a paying profession, you should do your very best to love and take extra-special care of your family. I, personally prefer to devote my entire future on this earth to this noble aspiration. With God’s grace, I look forward with great anticipation to meeting my future family!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

MY Olympic Stars!

Here are some of my personal-favorite 2008 Olympians! Agree or disagree?


This is gymnast, Jonathan Horton. He won the Silver Medal in high bar. He's such a doll!


I'm sure you all know this girl! It's the adorably-smiley, Shawn Johnson. She won her first Gold Medal at the very last moment! She's awesome!!!


This would be Paraguayan track & field star, Leryn Franco. Apparently, she's pretty hot stuff! I don't think she medaled this time, but she sure is gorgeous! :)


This guy is cool because he's the first male gymnast from Uzbekistan to win an Olympic Medal... EVER! His name is Anton Fokin. He's not bad-looking, either!


This diva is Elena Isinbayeva from Russia. I love her because she's got SO much personality!


Last, but in my heart, not least is Cullen Jones. He is an American swimmer. He swam with superstar Michael Phelps in these Olympics. He's hot. 'Nuff said. :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Why I Love LL Cool J

He's so cute to me! Great personality & great taste in "chill spots!" I would chill with him ANY day! :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

My Bible Lesson

Here is a lesson I created for the kids I teach on Friday nights at "Celebrate Recovery." What do you think?


"RUNNING GOD'S RACE"

1 Corinthians 9:24

"Don't you know that those who run in a race all run, but [only] one receives the prize? Run like that, that you may win."
-- World English Bible Translation



CROSS-REFERENCES:

Philippians 3:14 - "I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

2 Timothy 4:7 - "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith."

Hebrews 12:1 - "Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us."



QUESTIONS:

Is "running the race" for God supposed to be easy?

What is "endurance?" (Perseverance; not-giving-up; staying-power; faithfulness; strength; ability to stand up against adversity...)

What are some ways other people might cause you to stumble?

What happens to people who get sidetracked in life's race? (They have bad friendships; they run to drugs & alcohol; family problems; anger; frustration; depression; they have money troubles...)

What will happen to you if you DO run GOD'S race with endurance? (You'll succeed; be an example/role model for others; if you fail at something, it won't crush you; God will bless you richly...)



APPLICATION:

Most people are running a race, but don't see a clear goal!

Some say that nothing of real worth ever comes easily!

We can finish the race strong by praying for strength & wisdom and obeying God's commands.

We need to listen when God speaks to our heart... He wants the best for us always!



REMEMBER:

**You can always "change direction" & start running toward God!**

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Good Things Are Happenin'!

Hey all! Guess what? I got a JOB today! I am so thrilled! I will be a Preschool Teacher (again) at my church (McGregor Baptist). This is only a part-time position, but I have to say... it's better than nothing! :) I have been jobless since the beginning of March (FIVE months!). I have been determined & persistent, however; never doubting God's will & perfect timing. I feel like I am being truly rewarded! I start in 11 days, on August 11th. Yay!

Another awesome piece of news is that I am really excelling in my fitness class! I just finished my 6th workout session this evening & I got so many compliments from the girls in class & the instructor, Christa! I can feel my endurance rising, my flexibility growing, and my clothes fitting better! This class has truly been a major blessing for me & I am grateful for it!

Finally, I am starting to get more & more excited about this whole "college thing!" I spoke with an admissions counselor from SBU on the telephone yesterday & she gave me lots of valuable information. My only worries are acquiring my high school transcripts (the school board hasn't yet returned my call), choosing a major, and taking the SAT's or ACT's! Unfortunately, I never was required to take either exam in high school... and I graduated 9 years ago! Needless to say, I'm pretty rusty with the academics (especially Math!). I will definitely have to do some hard-core studying!

Anywho, God is blessing me after what seems like a looooong dry spell! Hallelujer! :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Is the College Life For Me?

Well, now! Big news... I am officially applying for COLLEGE! This is very exciting for me (because I have never attended any schools beyond High School), yet very strange (I am 28 years old!). I was talking to a very good friend on the phone last night and he suggested I apply to the university he's going to be attending! Guess where this college is located? Missouri! Southwestern Missouri (a small town called Bolivar), to be precise. The college is called "Southwest Baptist University." It's a Christian, Liberal Arts college. I looked at the website and it seems like a wonderful institution! Problem is, I live in SW Florida! If I were to get accepted & decide to move there, I would have quite a challenge ahead of me!

I am praying about all of this, and trusting God to lead me in the right direction. Right now, though, I am more than a little overwhelmed thinking of all I will have to do to prepare! I never took the SATs or ACTs in high school, so I would need to register for one of those exams; I have NO money, so I need to apply for financial aid; I have no clear idea of what I'd want to major in (I've been pondering Psychology, Communications/Journalism, Early Childhood Education, & Writing). This is a big decision!

Also, I am having trouble finding apartments for rent & jobs in that particular town. I have been looking online for those things, and no results are available right now. I realize that Bolivar is a small town (approx. 9000 residents), so I shouldn't be TOO surprised! Maybe I will look into campus residences. That would be weird. Maybe. :)

Anyway, if you are so-inclined, please pray for me as I make these important decisions (with God's help)! Thank you all!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

After a whole month, I'm back!


Hello again! I can't believe it's been a MONTH since I've blogged! :) I guess my life has been fairly uneventful in the last 30 days. I will try to catch you up, anyway.

I am still looking for a job. I have applied (since March 5) to approximately 45,000 jobs. Give or take... I have had a grand total of (drum roll, please...) TWO interviews! Everyone knows our current economy is in a dismal state, but this is ridiculous! I'm not used to having NO MONEY! It's been painful at times, but I truly do trust that God will provide, in His perfect timing. He never promised this life would be easy! For me personally, this time of my life causes me to reflect on how I've acted in the past, i.e. taking my blessings for granted. I won't do that anymore! Everything I am & possess is a GIFT from God! How can I continue to be so ungrateful??? Also, I am learning not to rely on my own strength, but on His! That's what He wants, after all!

On another note, I have really been enjoying my time as a volunteer for "Celebrate Recovery" on Friday nights! You'll recall I wrote about this in a previous blog entry. I am really getting to know the small group of kids and I think we're starting to bond! It's really an awesome feeling to know that they like me & enjoy being in my presence! Also, we have LOTS of helpers (not just myself), so that helps a lot, too! Miss Christa (the lead teacher/helper) has been absent from the group a couple of nights, so that actually gave me an even-better opportunity to get to know the children. It's a lot of fun and I hope to continue in the group for a long time!

Well, I had a birthday in July, also. On the 9th I turned 28! I say this every year, but that just seems "old" to me! :) I certainly don't feel 28! I feel like I'm in my early 20's, I suppose. I must admit that I LOVE telling people how old I am now... they are ALWAYS shocked when they hear my age! Then they invariably say that they think I look MUCH younger! It feels great to hear that, honestly!

I also must share that I had a wonderful birthday dinner party! Me and about 12 of my friends went out to dinner at TGI Fridays to celebrate. It was SO much fun! I will try to attach a picture of the festivities. (2 minutes later.... OK, I just uploaded a picture that you can see, but it's higher up on the page that I hoped for. Oh well, you get the idea!).

One final thing... I am simultaneously excited and freaked out about the new fitness class I joined on Monday (July 14). This class is actually a ministry of my church (McGregor Baptist) called "Fit For Eternity." My first workout session was Monday (only 3 days ago). Guess who the instructor is? Miss Christa! :) The same Christa from "Celebrate Recovery!" I love her, I really do... but this chick is TOUGH! Turns out she is a professional fitness instructor at the local university, FGCU, as well. She says that one of the classes she leads there is a "boot camp-style" class! You know, I'm really not surprised, considering the BRUTAL workout she led us poor women through on Monday night! Going into this class, I thought it would be so easy! I mean, it's not like I've never exercised before! I was so, SO wrong! We had to do ab work, push-ups, tricep push-ups (never even HEARD of those!), squats, squats and more squats, lunges, jumping, hopping, EVERYTHING! All in the space of one hour! I pushed myself SO hard during the session, that my legs felt like jelly afterward! My face was so red, I looked like a tomato! The women in the group are so nice, though. They were totally supportive & encouraging. I am actually excited to go back for Session Two! I know, I can't believe it, myself! :-) Actually, tonight (Thursday) is the next class & I am STILL nursing sore muscles. I am determined to continue with this... the girls PROMISED me it'd get a lot easier. I hope they're right! If so, I will be in great shape in no time! Ha ha!

Well, so much for "nothing interesting going on," eh? Thanks for reading! Love you all!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Things I'm Excited About

Just a few quick things! I am excited about GOLF, now! I watched the latter part of the playoff between Tiger Woods and hometown-favorite, Rocco Mediate this afternoon. I was happy to see Tiger win, but a little sad that Rocco lost. He put up a good fight, though and everyone agrees that he seems like a truly great guy. I guess golf is my newest sporting interest.

I am also excited that Vacation Bible School started tonight at my church (McGregor Baptist in Fort Myers). I am a first-time volunteer working Registration. Lemme tell ya -- it was CRAZY tonight! We had so many kids register. Obviously that's a wonderful thing, though. It was a great time with great people and I really look forward to the rest of this VBS week!

Another thing... I just heard that the newest version of Firefox's browser (3.0) is being released tomorrow (Tuesday, June 17)! This is good. Firefox is definitely my browser-of-choice.

Also, I have a job interview this Friday at Harry Chapin Food Bank! I am interviewing for a part-time position as a data-entry, clerical-type person there. I've been out of work since March 4, so I hope this works out! Wish me luck!

Lastly, um. I forgot what I was going to write! I hate when that happens! Ooh! Now I remember! I am excited that the Lakers won last night!!! We all get to experience at least one more game this season. Whee!!! Go Lakers!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Lovin' Basketball & Corralin' Kids

Hey, y'all! I guess this particular blog posting will be divvied into 2 subjects. Just to give you a snapshot of my life in the past week or so.

Sometime last week (whenever Game One was) I started watching basketball on TV. The NBA Finals (Lakers vs. Celtics), to be precise. I was just flipping through the channels one night and couldn't find anything better to watch, I suppose! As I watched this game, I became totally riveted and enthralled! This coming from a girl who's NEVER cared for sports of any type. Maybe because the game was so important; maybe because it was just plain exciting!

I remember when I saw Paul Pierce (Celtics) fall down from a knee injury... I just felt badly for him and started to pray. I prayed that God would give him immediate & complete healing. Well, you probably know what happened next! It's amazing, I think! He walked back onto the court a few minutes later and finished the game strong! The Celtics won that night.

Now, at this point I had no favorite team. I was just happy for whoever won. But after talking to a good friend right before Game 2, I decided to root for the Lakers from that day forward. My friend knows a great deal about basketball and other sports, as well. I trust him! :-)

So, needless to say, after watching that first game I was hooked! I watched the Celtics beat the Lakers again in a riveting Game 2. Not yet knowing all the sports terminology & traditions, I thought that Game 2 was the last game of the Finals! Thankfully, I was so wrong! :-) It's the best of 7, if you aren't aware.

So, I've watched Game 3 and 4 and look forward to the Lakers demolishing the Celtics to take the Series! You can tell my passion is growing every day! He he! It's just too bad I'm discovering the fun of this game at the END of the season!


Now, about my other aforementioned subject... earlier this evening at church I volunteered to help out with Childcare for the church's Celebrate Recovery program. Honestly, I thought it'd be a fairly painless gig. The kids range in age from about 5 to 12. There were a total of 15 kids tonight and 3 caregivers (including myself).

Turns out, the lead teacher does a lesson plan, arts & crafts, snacks, the whole shebang! This is all good, but I guess I just had movies and popcorn in mind. The lead teacher, Miss Christa, is awesome! She's a real inspiration to me. She is so much fun, she's carefree, she's not too strict with the children. Most importantly, she knows how to teach an awesome Bible lesson! Tonight she spoke about King David and the importance of repentance. Christa truly made the teaching time exciting and easy-to-understand.

As she taught, I got to sit in the back of the classroom and judge the crafts that the kids had made several minutes before. There were categories for Most Creative, Most Improved, Most Technically Correct (the craft involved writing a verse from Psalms) and Hardest Worker. I really enjoyed looking at all their little masterpieces and judging them. Actually, I made sure everyone received a prize of some sort. It was really cool.

Later in the evening, we got to make S'Mores (indoors!) and pass them out to all the kiddies. Man! These kids were LOADED UP on sugar by the end of the night! They were pretty wild, but we all had a lot of fun, indeed.

I look forward to next Friday night, but pray for me! :-)