About Me

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I'm a stay-at-home Dad suffering from Fibromyalgia. I homeschool my daughter and lead worship at my church. I'm also a gamer and a geek and proud of it.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

First Session

Well Friday found me standing in a recording studio for the first time ever. What an awesome experience. I am so blessed beyond belief. The session went well and we were able to record six out of the ten songs I had selected, which was amazing. Had to stop after the sixth one though as my voice was starting to give out, mostly due to my ongoing battle with a chronic sinus infection. I'll be heading back into the studio next week to finish up the other songs and then arrange them in order for the CD. My mom is going to love this CD when it is done. Below is a sample of Amazing Grace.

The recording was done at Galilee Productions with Producer/Engineer George Dussault. One thing I was not expecting was when George asked me what I did with my voice besides sing for fun. He said I had a good voice and suggested if I wanted to get serious I should work with a voice coach. Something to think about for the future perhaps. Right now I just want to get my voice healthy enough to sing on the 20th for both the morning offering and with the Adult Choir at the Candle Light Service.

Like I've been saying right along, God isn't finished with me yet. So I'll just keep on waiting to see what He has in store for me. I have some idea where He is leading now, but I'm going to keep my suspicions to myself until things are a little more concrete. I'll post more soon, I promise.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Brief Update

I just thought I'd make a quick entry this morning before I start my day. We're taking the week off to get ready for Thanksgiving, as usual I will be baking my famous apple pie (I get to use my corer/peeler I got from Pampered Chef) as well as a few other desserts. Going to make cheesecake this year as well. I haven't made one of those in quite some time, so it should be fun. I'm going to go all out on the appetizers this year as well. Wife and I will be making her grandmother's Portuguese stuffing (it is sooo good!). I'll be prepping all the ingredients for the stuffing over the next couple of days so we can start cooking Wednesday night, plus I'll be making the desserts ahead of time.

Also, confirmed the date and time to record the CD for my mom. Judy is going to take pictures so I can include them with my post about the experience. I'm so excited about this, I never imagined that I would be recording in a real studio, it is more than I could have hoped for. What started as a simple gift for my mom has turned into God giving me a desire of my heart that I wasn't even aware of. I'm so humbled and feel so loved by my God right now.

On a related note, I joined the adult choir at church and we started rehearsals for the Candle Light Service, also I found an awesome song for a solo, either for during the offering on a Sunday, the Candle Light Service, or both. You can check it out here.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Walking in the Light

"Just be yourself." That's what everyone always says, but I think what they really mean is try to be that person that everyone thinks you really are so you can feel comfortable. The reality is we are not comfortable being ourselves. We fear rejection and reticule, hiding behind a facade in order to protect our fragile self image, afraid that the real us won't measure up. I never really thought about it much either, that is until we talked about walking in the light at our homeschooling co-op.

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." 1 John 1:7

You see if your walking in the light there is no place to hide, everything is exposed for everyone to see. That is what true fellowship is, it's more than friendship. It's an openness both between God and ourselves, and between ourselves and others.

It really hit home this week for me. I was singing at the Veteran's Day service at our church, and from all accounts I did great, but people noticed I was visibly shaking. I never quite understood how, when I worked for AT&T, I could stand in front of a classroom of 20 strangers and talk about how fiber optic cables worked like it was second nature, but ask me to sing in front of my own congregation, my friends and family, I get terrified. It dawned on me this morning it's because I sing from the heart. I'm opening myself, my true self, up to criticism and rejection. I'm baring a little part of my soul for all the world to see every time I sing. There's a line in a song by Casting Crowns that goes "But would it set me free if I dared to let you see the truth behind the person you imagine me to be. Would your arms be open, or would you walk away. Would the love of Jesus be enough to make you stay." That is the question, isn't it? The one of which we are so frightened? We have to remind ourselves that God will never walk away from us.

I for one will continue to sing from my heart, because I know God is with me. He will strengthen me when I'm weak. His perfect love will cast out all fear, and I will walk in the light.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

In Memorium

On Wednesday, Allen Lorentson, one of my best and dearest friends, went home to be with the Lord. A friend like Al only comes around once in a lifetime. From the first day we met he was generous and sincere in his friendship toward my wife and myself.

You see I have always had trust and self esteem issues, it is only in the last few years that I have grown comfortable and confident in the person God has made me to be. I have always rationalized people being friends with me as either they wanted something from me or were just tolerating me for the sake of being polite, but not Al. Al never made me feel that way. He was just so genuine that the sincerity of his friendship cast aside any of my own insecurities. He wasn't perfect, and he acknowledged that with a humbleness that we could all aspire to, and when he stumbled he didn't stay down, but moved on in the grace of God sharing that grace with all around him.

He was generous as well. I remember the first time he invited my family on his family's annual camping trip. He made us feel, as he always did, like a part of the family. It became a tradition after that, so much so, that when one year we were facing financial difficulties he paid our share of the camp site so we could be there. He treated me like a little brother, and when my father passed last year he comforted me and shared my grief. He has always opened his home to us and shown true christian hospitality. If there was ever a man that exemplified true biblical masculinity it was Allen. He was a servant leader in his home, a loving father, a devoted husband, a true faithful friend.

Al were all gonna miss you, but as I told my daughter last night, we'll see you again when we all get to heaven. Debbie, Alicia, Erica, this song is for you...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My Cup Runeth Over...

Friday found us dragging our feet a little. Thursday had been so exhausting, a good exhausting, but exhausting none the less. We arrived at the homeschool co-op early and I had the chance to take some pictures of the church and some fall foliage.

Anyway, the co-op went well, the kids in my speech class (5th through 8th grade) seem excited about giving their first presentations next week. They have to do a 30 - 60 second reading or recitation. Even my daughter seems excited, which is so cool considering how shy she is.
After my class the kids went out for some fresh air for their health class and I got a chance to chat with one of the other parents about the art class she's teaching to the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders. We were talking while her husband, who is teaching the music class, was playing around on his guitar. I mentioned how talented he was and she mentioned that he had his own studio in his basement. We talked some more and he said he could get me a better deal on the CD I was doing for my mom and would let me use my own accompaniment CD's so I'll get to use the songs I want to all along. It was like an answer to prayer because I felt bad about not being able to find a christian recording studio in the area and had felt like I was settling for something less than what I had hoped for. God is so awesome.
Did I mention that the studio was nominated for a Grammy 11 times.

Boys will be boys...

So we arrive at church early which gives me time to set up my classroom for Ranger Kids. Commander Rob had called on Wednesday and gave me a heads up about a new boy who would be in my class this week, so I wanted to make sure everything was ready. I then helped my Mother-in-law set up for a little fellowship before hand as she had arranged to make soup this week and next week. She arrived with my niece and nephew in tow and some really great soup. My class went awesome, the boys are well on their way to earning their first advancement and achievement awards. Even with my hyperactive nephew driving me nuts, I was still able to keep order. The new boy told his dad he wants to come back next week so it looks like Ranger Kids may finally be taking off. It was a great end to a great day.

On to Thursday...

My daughter and I went Apple Picking a White Oak Farms in Glocester, and it was awesome. We had a great turn out. They had planned to divide us into two groups, one would go pick apples while the other went on a hay ride, then they would switch. Well they ended up dividing us into four groups instead. The weather was perfect and to top it off since last weekend was their last open weekend of the season, we got to pick a full peck of apples instead of the quarter peck we were expecting. The children each got to take home a small pumpkin, and they also got to go on a scavenger hunt in the corn field, where two large pumpkins were hidden. My daughter didn't find them but the two children who did got to take them home. In all it was a great time and to think it only cost 6 dollars a child!!!

We left The farm a got home just in time for my daughter to change into her leotard for gymnastics. She so didn't want to go, but I reminded her that we had already paid for the sessions and she was going to have to go. We stopped for Wendy's on the way there, I ended up dripping burger grease and Ketchup on my jeans and shirt, so after gymnastics we had to swing by the house so I could change clothes. Then we were off again, this time to Church.

Wednesday Night

Well the last few days have been a whirlwind of activity. I'm never a proponent of having a full schedule, but sometimes it's good to be busy. Especially when you're doing what God wants you to do. So anyway, let's start with Wednesday night. It was my second chance to do a Bible study at my wife's job (she's an Activities Assistant at a Nursing Home) and it went over really well. There is very little interaction from the residents so it felt more like a lecture or a sermon than a Bible Study, but they all seemed to enjoy it. It really just felt so natural even more than when I was a trainer at AT&T. I've always like teaching, but this was awesome.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Good Day...

Well here I am, again. I had a pretty decent day today, got a lot accomplished. I was still in considerable pain from the rapid changes in weather we've been having lately. My hands were hurting so bad I was practically in tears just trying to drive my car. They feel better now but I still can't get used to the suddenness of the onset of my Fibromyalgia pain and the equally sudden fading of the same pain. one minute I want to scream the next I'm fine.

Like I said I did get a lot done today. I'm all prepared for the Bible Study I'm leading at my wife's job tonight. Still nervous but I know with God's help I'll do fine. Picked out the songs I'm going to record for my mom and emailed the list to the studio. Had to limit my selections to karaoke titles only so it was tough picking out songs that I knew and felt comfortable singing. I'm just waiting to here back from them so we can arrange some studio time to do the recording. I'm kinda excited about it as I have never sung in a studio before, ought to be cool.

Things are starting to come together, like I keep saying "Wait and See."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Late Night...

Got in really late last night, I attended a Ranger Basics class out in Agawam, MA. It went well but Agawam is like 1 1/2 hours from my house and the meeting was 3 1/2 hours long. didn't get in until almost midnight (I missed my exit of the Mass Pike). So I got in and started to blog a little about my day. It was really great, very cathartic. I went to publish and there was a hiccup. Needless to say everything I typed, or rather rambled, was lost. Dejected I went to bed.

The cathartic effect was still there though. I guess I really just needed to work things out in my mind about how I was feeling. I was kind of blind sided by how much emotions were still locked up inside me over my dad's passing. I have many regrets over everything, nothing I could really control, just a bunch of "if onlys". There has been a lot of healing going on through all this, and though in the end God didn't heal my dad from the stroke or the dementia, He did heal me. Not a physical healing, though that would be awesome right now (the weather has every joint and muscle screaming in pain right now), but an emotional healing.

I'm also beginning to see just how much God has blessed me and my family, not just by meeting or needs, though that has been totally beyond anything I could have hoped for or imagined. Over the past few months I have felt God moving me, guiding me, shaping me into the man He has always intended me to be. They other day I felt he gave me a glimpse of some of the things he has in store for me and well all I can say is "whoa". I am excited, scared, and humbled by what I'm seeing so far and I know He has barely even begun. So as I've said before just "Wait and See".

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wait and See...

I've been feeling, well quite frankly I don't know what I'm feeling. God's been speaking to me a lot lately about where I am in my life. He wants more from me, but He's been very vague about what form that more is supposed to take. The image of a potter working with clay has been central to what I've been learning this week. I know God is working in my life, I've been broken like clay and soaked and now I feel like He is working me into what He wants me to be, but just like the clay doesn't know what it will be when it is on the potters wheel, I have no idea what I will be when he is done. The following song by Brandon Heath sums up how I feel.

So as the song says "Wait and See, He's not finished with me yet."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Just a typical Thursday

Well, today is just another typical Thursday here in the Neary household. Got up early, well early for me (8 am), got a good start to school (after my shower I checked on my daughter to make sure she was up and dressed and to my surprise she was not only dressed but also working on her Bible work for the day), the wife even came home from Weight Watchers with an iced coffee for me (she is so awesome). So we pretty much got through all our subjects with a minimum of whining (I'm not just talking about my daughter either) and we actually got to gymnastics early (I'm still in shock with that one as I'm usually dropping my daughter off at the door with 1 minute to spare as I find a parking space). So here we sit waiting for her class to start, she reading Little Pilgrims Progress, and I blogging. I brought the laptop to work on some neglected history lesson plans, but forgot some of my curriculum at home. Oh well, I can't complain too much, had a relatively low pain day, but I've been pacing myself. We have church tonight so I'll need my energy to keep up with the Ranger Kids. The wife should be joining me shortly, she decided to bring her new Netbook with her so she could work on her care plans for clinical tomorrow (she is at the hospital getting her preliminary data on her new patient). It would be awesome to actually eat dinner together tonight. After church we have grocery shopping to do, nothing major, just a few odds and ends (we'll do the main shopping tomorrow). So, Yeah, it's been a pretty typical Thursday, like anything in my life can be called typical.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Rain Again

Well it's raining again, and that means more FMS pain. There are times when I don't understand why God allows me to be in so much pain. I cry out why me, why now, why??? It's hard to keep it all in perspective some times, but then I came across this documentary on tangle. I had no idea that Matthew West had gone through this, and I can definitely relate. To summarizes the documentary, Matthew West was on tour and preparing for his next album when weeks before recording his doctor discovered a cyst on his vocal cords and would need surgery, he spent two months not being able to speak and unsure if he would ever be able to sing again. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own ability to serve God, expecting that just because we are busy doing things for God that he will bless them, when in reality we should be doing what God wants us to do not in our own power and ability, but in God's power and timing. I joke sometimes that there is nothing I'm not capable of doing if I put my mind to it telling my wife jokingly "I've got mad skills." And without being pompous or arrogant, I really do know a lot about a lot of things, I have many skills and talents that at times I take for granted. If any of you know me personally you know what I'm talking about. I guess in the end I need to remember that even with all the pain God is still in control and maybe this is God's way of saying slow down, don't try so hard to do what you think will please Me but do what I want you to do. maybe if I slowed down I would here what it is He wants me to do. Oh one more thing below is the official video for Matthew West's "The Motions. Check it out.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Off to a Great Start

Well the DELTIC Co-op went off today with very few hitches. What is DELTIC? It stands for Doing Education and Life Together In Christ, and it is a homeschooling co-op. For me it allows my only child to get together with her friends and participate in various electives. It also gives myself (and other parents) the opportunity to share our expertise in various areas. In my case I'm teaching a Beginning Public Speaking course. The day went great and the kids seem to be excited. Even my daughter who is usually shy and has been dreading the idea of public speaking is starting to get excited about the class.

Well I would love to expound on the Co-op more but I'm exhausted, I was up late helping my wife type up her paperwork for her nursing II clinical, didn't get to bed until around 3 am and then had to be up at 7 am. I can't complain too much though, the wife was out the door at 5:30. Anyway my FMS is killing me and I still gotta call the doctor. I'm a terrible procrastinator especially when it involves doctors, never feel like they take me seriously. I've also got this irrational fear that they'll find something new wrong with me.

Hope to post again later after I've gotten some rest, but if not hope everyone has a great day.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Insomnia Strikes Again

Having a hard time getting to sleep, again. Had this problem before a few years back, it is a possible symptom of Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS), though this time I think I've developed Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS, another symptom) to go along with it. So, I'm operating on little sleep, in almost constant pain (due to the rapid changes in the weather we've had over the past few days), and I'm supposed to take my daughter ice skating today for PE. OK. It could be worse I did get about 2 hours of uninterrupted sleep last night so I'm not completely sleep deprived. I've gotta call the doctor today about the constant pain in my knee (I had an MRI done on it about two years ago and they saw some damage but not bad enough to operate), it's gotten worse over the past year, and of course my new possible RLS trouble. Anyway, say a little prayer for me.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Road Less Travelled

Road less travelled? Yeah right. Been more of a trek through the outback with no compass or canteen. Being a stay at home dad is tough. Laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning, etc., (OW, OW, OW, my head is going to explode!!!) come on ladies, fill us guys in how do you get it all done???
Seriously I know that things would be easier if I wasn't in such constant pain, but sometimes it's all just way overwhelming. I'm seriously considering hiring a maid after my wife is done with school. Anyway, am I the only guy out there that feels like this??? My wife tells me she felt the same way when she stayed home, but I still feel inadequate when it comes to all this house work. This is kinda uncharted territory in many ways. Yes, we've been homeschooling going on five years now, but this past year was my first as a full time stay at home dad. Prior to September I was still working part time at a Dunkin Donuts early in the morning, but my FMS (Fibromyalgia Syndrom) really started to take its toll. I try not to let it get me down. After all I'm still alive and kicking, well maybe not kicking, but you know what I mean. I'm just gonna have to keep reminding myself that the Good Shepherd is taking care of me, and as the psalm says I shall not want.

Here we go...

So I thought Facebook would be a great place to start a blog. Not.
What do I know?
So, here I am over at Blogger.

I've really wanted to do this for a while now. Partly, to share some of my experience with other full time stay at home dads, and of course to vent once in a while.

So what will I be blogging about?

Well they always say, "Write what you know." That really doesn't narrow it down much. So, To give you an idea of what type of things I'll be sharing, I'll tell you a little about myself.

I'm a born-again christian, so, religion will definately be discussed.
Also, I'm a stay at home dad. Partially by chaoice, partially not. So, parenting will be on the menu as well.
I also homeschool my daughter. So, anything pertaining to education is fair game.
I love to cook, read, paint, draw, sing and play music.
Oh, and I'm a guy. So, I'll be delving into some scary territory there as well.