Saturday, December 06, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
One particular moment that stood out in my mind was in a session about Effective and Ineffective Communication led by Phil and Cindy Waugh. They were the explaining the concept of "Messaging to be understood and Listening to Understand". Part of communicating this way with your spouse involves "mirroring". When not in agreement, the one spouse responds with, "what I hear you say is ....." and once the concept is completely understood, the other spouse says, "that makes me feel ....". I leaned over to my husband and asked him if he remembered when we had first heard that concept. He did.
We were singing at The Park Church in April 2008. During the Sunday morning service, Pastor Rick was speaking about marriage. I remember a lot of his message because he was very funny, but mostly because of this: you see, in August of 2007 Rick suffered a heart attack and then, a few days later, an acute stroke. He wasn't expected to live. It was soon realized that the part of his brain that had been affected by the stroke was his "communication department". As a pastor, this is his most precious gift! With the help of his wife, he has continued to pastor a growing, thriving, large church. To see Rick now, you wouldn't know that he had been ill, but once he begins to speak there is a hesitation and stumbling over words. During the morning in April when Rick was speaking about marriage, he began to explain the concept of "mirroring" ... "what I hear you say is ...." and "that makes me feel ...". He had barely begun to explain the concept when his words began to get very muddled. He tried a couple times to straighten them out and just couldn't get his thoughts out. Quietly, his wife Judy left her seat in the front row, walked up to the platform, took a mic and explained the concept beautifully while Rick stepped back and took a few deep breaths before he was ready to begin again. Then, Judy just stepped back down to her seat in the front row. The picture of that has been embedded in my mind. Two people working as one. Neither one looking for attention. Simply working together to accomplish a purpose. The concept has stayed with me and I've shared it with several friends, but even more poignant was the relationship between Rick and Judy. Truly they are an inspiration!!
So, not only have we been surrounded by great teaching, but we have been inspired by other marriages in action.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Our Chalet in Canmore, AB and the views from the master bedroom balcony
My hubby and I downtown Banff, AB on a snowy evening. The end of a perfect day!
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
My hubby had sung in 2 full concerts, 1 special Sunday morning appearance, 1 World Vision Artist Associate luncheon, 1 GMA Showcase and spent a day in a studio doing TV tapings.
We had stopped and visited with friends we've only met through e-mail in North Bay, my Aunt and Uncle in Winnipeg, our friends, The Wilson Family, in rural Saskatchewan and lots of artists at different venues.
We ate at Wendy's, McDonald's (x3), A+W, Mary Browns, Subway (x2), Swiss Chalet, The Olive Garden, Drifters, The Keg, Caseys, KFC, Red Lobster, Montanas, a catered luncheon, Tim Hortons (x2) and Starbucks (x??)
We stayed at Travelodge, Voyageur Inn, Best Western, Comfort Inn, Howard Johnston (x2), and Days Inn.
Yesterday my hubby had a meeting with the musical director for the musical he will be involved in beginning at the end of next month. 7,000 tickets sold out in 5 days! He's not only going to be the guest soloist, but he is also doing some arrangements and vocal choreography for the choir. He meets with the choir for the first time tomorrow.
I've managed to keep the kids on track with schoolwork, keep laundry clean and read a few books. I've also realized that 1 laptop with 4 people is not enough!
Sounds crazy, huh? Welcome to my life!
So, for those who want to know how it's going ... great!
Monday, October 13, 2008
Us ... just before the wedding started ...
We arrived early to set up sound. My husband sat in the front row ready to sing during the ceremony and I sat in tiny, hot sound booth at the back. I watched other couples cuddle close together watching the bride and groom while my hubby motioned to me to turn down channel one and turn up channel two.
As people exited the church, my hubby and I quickly packed the sound gear and headed to where the reception and dance would be. We set up there and I began to relax while he discussed the evening with the band. We enjoyed an incredible meal and while speeches were being made the band was getting ready. I spent the next few hours watching Scandalous Grace sing and play with all their might. They were incredible!! An absolutely stellar performance which delighted the crowd completely. I watched husbands and wives embracing on the dance floor, fire in their eyes. I watched as the music sung brought back heart-warming memories for them. I was sitting by the sound booth wondering why there was so much fun around me and yet I wasn't enjoying any of it.
Then it hit me ... Silly me. I thought I was going on a date with my husband; he was simply going to work! Silly, silly me.
Being married to a singer means that my life is a lot different than many others, but this was one aspect I hadn't considered before. To be fair, my hubby took me out on a date the next week and this time it wasn't about work!
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Saturday, September 06, 2008
While going through an old box of homeschooling things this summer, I came across a list I made several years ago when our homeschooling journey began. I'm pleased that our goals have not altered at all! I wrote them when our kids were merely elementary students and now, with one doing Grade 10 work and one doing a mix of Grade 8 and Grade 9 work, the goals seem just as poignant.
Written around 1999:
Saturday, August 30, 2008
"The stress of life ends here ... prepare to relax!"
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Our anticipation grew as we headed over to the Air Canada Centre. While waiting in line, we were asked if we wanted to have our pic taken to be used on the big screen. We said sure! Here's the pic ....
In our opinion, almost all the idols have made huge strides as far as stage presence is concerned. Kristy Lee Cook and Syesha Mercado win the awards for 'Most Improved'. David Aruchuleta wins 'Crowd Favourite'. Michael Johns wins 'Was Voted Off Waaayyy Too Early'. In our eyes David Cook and Carly Smithson were definitly rock stars in every sense of the word. My favourite, Jason Castro, did a beautiful rendition of 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' that almost made me cry!
All in all, we had a fun family day full of great memories!
PS. Check out MacKenzie and Savannah's Facebook pages for pics of the concert.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I know for almost everyone else in Canada, school's been out for several weeks. When you are homeschooling, you can educate on your own schedule. In the past, this has always worked to our advantage and we've usually finished school in May. This year was different. With my husband's schedule being so heavy last fall, we got way behind in our schoolwork and just couldn't seem to get caught up. Now, we're finally done! I've even completed report cards.
Now the kids and I are officially on 'summer holidays'. I've got a few plans, but nothing extravagant. I plan to spend some time at the library and then enjoy reading the books and watching the DVDs I borrow, painting a few more things around my home, starting a Facebook page, trying a few new recipes, blogging about some things that have been on my mind and then getting ready for the next school year. We are also planning on attending a couple concerts ... my hubby and the band he plays with, Scandalous Grace, are doing a fundraising concert tomorrow (Friday) at DSCF, our friend Kevin Pauls is in concert in Whitby next week, and then next Saturday we have tickets to see American Idols Live at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto!
Here's hoping for a few lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer!
Monday, July 14, 2008
1. Where have all the red-skinned potatoes gone to?
2. I know that eating fruits and veggies in season gives you the most punch of vitamins etc., but does anyone have an easy way to remember what is in season and when in Ontario?
Just wondering ....
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Our family room furniture has been deteriorating rapidly over the last several years. We own two beautiful, long-haired, cuddly cats with nails who have torn the front panels of our furniture to shreds. The actual structure of the furniture is fine, but the upholstery needed help.
I've been wanting to highlight the black in our family room for quite some time ... our wood stove is black, our lamps are black, a few candle holders are black. So, I found an old pair of black pants and a can of black paint. Andrew tackled the front panels of the furniture, removing the green and adding the black, while I painted all the green legs of our end tables a nice, shiny black. The projects took a few hours, but were completely FREE! We were amazed at the results. Thought you'd like to see ...
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
I was recently having one of those "what in the world are we going to have for dinner" nights, when I remembered that a long, long time ago I had written down a recipe from an episode of 'Mike and Maty'. I had made the recipe once or twice over the years, but not for a long time. This prompted me to get out my favourite cookbook and begin going through all the recipes I have shoved in the front over the years. The recipes I've shoved in the front may actually exceed the actual numnber of recipes in the book! I was looking for that light pink piece of paper that had been torn in half. Isn't it funny how we can remember the silliest details, but can't remember where we left our cell phone? I found the paper and to my delight, I had all the ingredients for the recipe. Since I have been helping my oldest get her Grade 9 credit for Home Economics, I decided to have her make the majority of the recipe. (When you homeschool it's amazing what you can classify as "school"!) MacKenzie did a great job and the recipe turned out even better than I remembered. No one else in my family remembered ever having eaten it before!
So, if you are wondering what to have for dinner and want something easy and tasty, why not try "Mike and Maty's Chicken".
3 or 4 boneless breasts of chicken cut in bite sized pieces
Shake in 1/2 cup of flour and a bit of salt
Brown in 1 tbsp of butter
All in one bowl, add ...
1/2 cup of chopped celery
1/2 cup of red pepper
1/2 cup green pepper'
1/2 cup onion'
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp pepper
1 cup ketchup (She used 1/2 cup ketchup and 1/2 cup chili sauce)
1 cup water
Mix it up, add to the browned chicken, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
We served it with basmati rice (my personal favourite!) and canned peas.
Monday, June 16, 2008
And then again ... "I need to tell you something, Daddy".
Sunday, June 01, 2008
- TRUTH (see this previous post) My mom always ends up with a "word for the year" ... Truth is my word for 2008.
- Use wisdom
- Get the facts before you jump to conclusions
- My children will inherit one of two things: my fears or God's promises (Lisa Bevere)
- When God asks me to do something, I MUST obey immediately ... no matter how much people won't understand
- How can anyone have a proper relationship with God when their earthly relationships are so messed up ... and yet, we can't fix those earthly relationships on our own, we need God to help us
- I can't do anything on my own, but I can do all things through Him who gives me strength!
- There is a school bus company from our town that uses the logo "On the Journey of Learning" ... I feel like that wraps up my life in a nutshell
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
2. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.
3. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have,or sleep all you want.
4. When you say, 'I love you', mean it.
5. When you say, 'I'm sorry,' look the person in the eye.
6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
7. Believe in love at first sight.
8. Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much.
9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.
10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling..
11. Don't judge people by their relatives.
12. Talk slowly but think quickly.
13. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, 'Why do you want to know?'
14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
15. Say 'bless you' when you hear someone sneeze
16. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
17. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.
18. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
19. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
20. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
21. Spend some time alone.
(sent to my husband from a friend by e-mail)
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
BUT ... now I know why turkeys are cooked for family get togethers! There was certainly enough turkey for an army!! Now, gotta figure out what to do with all the leftovers!
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
ps. After seeing the acting abilities of Shari and Tammy on Sunday, I think they could do a great job acting this out!
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Here's a sample from my hubby's brand new album, DEPARTURES. This album is the result of something God put on my husband's heart about three years ago. The journey to get to the final product has been bumpy, but the end result is more incredible than we even imagined! What a joy to work with such gifted musicians and artists and watch as God created this beautiful tapestry.
To launch this new album, we also created a new website. Stop by for a visit at:
http://www.andrewmartinmusic.com/. Listen to clips from the rest of the album by clicking on "In-flight Entertainment". It will be available to order from our online store or from iTunes by the end of the month.
Last September God placed the desire in Andrew's heart to write a song about reaching out to those around us. Andrew worked on that song for two days straight and couldn't come up with something. The kids were busy with fashion shows all weekend and had no idea he was trying to write a song. Early Monday morning when I woke up, MacKenzie (then 13) was already awake. When I asked her why she simply answered, "God woke me up with a song, so I got up and wrote it down." She had written two verses, a chorus and even a bridge. The lyrics were exactly what Andrew had been trying to create all weekend!! Here's a sample of the final cut ...
The journey has been long, like we've been in a holding pattern. DEPARTURES is such a fitting name because it does feel like we're about to take off!
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Monday, April 07, 2008
From the time we are toddlers we are scolded, "Tell the truth". Yet, there are times when we know that if we tell the truth we will be punished and will have to face the consequences, so we don't. It is easier to deny the truth and escape the consequences.
As adults, we do the same thing, except it isn't about stealing a cookie or taking a toy from a sibling. Usually it has to do with relationships. If we simply deny the truth, we escape the consequences. But, this will only go on for so long before we lose the relationship or we face the truth and make things right. This applies to marriages, friendships, work relationships and even to ourselves.
We immobilize situations by refusing to face the truth. We deny that there are problems that are unsolved. We deny that there are feelings we haven't dealt with. We deny that we have made bad decisions. We deny that we have addictions. We deny that there are relationships that are not whole. We deny that marriage isn't everything we thought it was going to be. We deny the financial crisis we are in. While we live in denial, situations go from bad to worse.
I think of people sitting in counselling sessions time after time after time while the counsellor simply waits for the truth to be told or revealed. Until there is truth, even a professional counsellor's hands are tied.
I like to think of John 8:32 as "... you will know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free ..." (a bit out of context, I know). I really believe that knowing the One who IS Truth is imperative for facing truth in every other situation. I like to think though, that when we come to Jesus (Truth), spend time with Him and get to know Him, then we would see ...
"... that I'm precious, and I would know that I'm prized
I'd know Your love never changes
If I could look through your eyes.
If I saw my value to you
I'd see your love for me remains
Despite the foolish things I do
And I'd see your love for what it is
Unshakable and TRUE
If I saw my value to you." (written by Dan Cutrona, sung by my hubby yesterday morning at DSCF and recorded on his new album "Departures")
Oh, the incredible things that happen to us when we know the one who IS Truth ... we become FREE! Yes, Mona, we can trust Him because He cannot tell anything, but the Truth!
When we know the One who Is Truth, He can speak the truth to us. I remember one very confusing morning a few years ago when God revealed some truth to my husband and I. A ton of feeling came with the revelation and we really didn't even know what to do with it all. We went to our friends, Todd and Tammy who listened and then reminded us that, "The Lord reveals to heal". He speaks the truth to us to heal us!! I can't tell you how many times I have quoted that phrase to other people since that time.
When we know the One who IS Truth, we can begin to speak the truth about everything else in our lives. We are able to speak the truth about hurt and mistreatment and then forgive! We can speak the truth about unhappiness and dissatisfaction and then work towards a solution! We can speak truth about our financial situation, rework our budget and make better financial decisions. We can speak the truth about disappointments and failures and then trust God to help us become better people! It all begins, though, with telling the truth. Yes, there may be consequences ... we may have to admit that we aren't perfect (gasp!). We may have to struggle through some ugly feelings. We may have to step out of our comfort zones. We may even have to work very, very hard. The results, though, are so worth it ... we can be ... FREE!!
TRUTH = FREEDOM
Disclaimer: I am only speaking from my own experiences and want to encourage others towards freedom. In no way have I meant to shame anyone. If this post seems harsh, it wasn't meant to be.
Monday, March 31, 2008
- a wonderful mom to Alandria (almost 4)
- a supportive wife
- a pastor's wife in a tiny town in Iowa
- very intelligent (Double Honours in English and Philosophy from McMaster University)
- my little sister (even though she's just a hair shorter than 6 feet tall)
- known for being sarcastic ... just a wee bit!!
- a gifted artist ... painting, drawing and even decorating
- one of the most frugal people I know! She knows how to get a deal on almost everything!
Visit Charlene at http://www.witandwishdom.blogspot.com/.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
The Bra (Cowboy Poetry)
By Bill Hirschi
You know, I've never been much for shopping,In fact I try to stay away from town -
Except when shipping time comes, I ain't easily found.
But the day came when I had to go, And I left the kids with Ma.
But before I left, she asked me,"Would you pick me up a bra?"
Without thinkin' I said "sure,", How tough could that job be?
I bent down and kissed her and said, "I'll be back by three."
Well, when I done the things I needed I started to regret
Ever offering to buy that thing, I was working up a sweat.
I crossed the street to the ladies shop, With my hat pulled over my eyes,
I wasn't takin' any chances, On bein' recognized.
I walked right up to the sales clerk, I didn't hem or haw.
I told the lady right straight out, "Ma'am, I'm here to buy a bra."
From behind I heard some snickers, So I turned around to see
At least fifteen women in the store, And they's all gawkin' at me!
"What kind would you be looking for?", "Well," I just scratched my head.
I'd only seen one kind before, "Thought bras was bras," I said.
She gives me a disgusted look, "Well sir, that's where you're wrong.
Come with me," I heard her say, And like a dog, I tagged along.
She took me down this alley, Where bras was on display.
Well I thought my jaw'd hit the floor, When I seen that lingerie.
They had all these different styles, That I'd not seen before -
I thought that I'd go crazy, 'fore I left that women's store.
They had bras you wear for eighteen hours, And bras that cross your heart.
There was bras that lift and separate, And that was just the start.
They had bras that made you feel, Like you weren't wearing one at all.
And bras that you can train in, When you start off when you're small.
Well, I finally made my mind up, Picked a black and lacy one.
I told the lady, "Bag it up," And figured I was done.
But then she asked me for the size. I didn't hesitate.
I knew them measurements by heart, "Six and seven eighths."
"Six and seven eighths, well sir, That really isn't right."
"Oh yes ma'am, I'm positive, I just measured them last night."
I thought that she'd go into shock, Musta took her by surprise.
When I told her that my wife's bust Was the same as my hat size.
"That's what I use to measure with, I figured it was fair;
But If I'm wrong I'm sorry ma'am." This drew another stare.
By now a crowd had gathered, And they's all crackin' up.
When the lady asked to see my hat, To measure for the cup.
When she finally had it figured I gave the gal her pay
I turned to leave the store, Tipped my hat and said, "Good day."
My wife heard the whole story, 'fore I ever made it home.
She'd talked to fifteen women, Who'd called her on the phone.
She was still a-laughin', But by then I didn't care.
Now she don't ask and I don't shop, For no more women's underwear.
Monday, March 17, 2008
The rules are simple:
~Visit Andrew's blog ANDREW'S RAMBLINGS
~Have a look around and then leave a comment on the post called CD Giveaway
~Your name will be entered into a hat
~If you advertise the CD Giveaway on your blog or website, simply say so in your comment and get your name in the hat twice!
~Let your family and friends know so they have a chance to win as well
~The draw will be held on Sunday, March 30, 2008
I can't wait to see who wins!!
Here's hoping that Spring really IS on it's way!
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Over two years ago now, I spent 7 weeks in bed and I had friends who came and helped the entire time. Friends from church and my homeschooling group delivered meals for my family, offered to taxi my kids back and forth to events, and even brought one daughter a new swimsuit when they noticed hers was getting thin at swimming lessons. One friend from church delivered a whole box of movies for me to watch while I was laying in bed! Many friends came by or e-mailed that they were praying for me. So many researched and offered solutions to my health problems and many of them worked. One friend connected me to an Osteopath who was vital in my recovery.
So, when I had the opportunity to give back to a friend in need, I was glad to do it. What I didn't plan on was that the flu is the gift that KEEPS giving!! (Just for the record, this isn't the first time I've helped a friend in over 2 years, but it's current so I decided to blog about it!)
Andrew and I both invited folks to our house last night ... two different families who had never met each other. When I realized it and tried to get one to come a different night, it wasn't possible. So, they all arrived here for the afternoon and evening yesterday.
Problem was, I woke up in the morning knowing I was getting sick!! I wasn't sick enough to cancel ... until they were in the driveway and I was in the bathroom!! YIKES. Too late. Thankfully, I have wonderful friends who helped get supper ready and one husband even barbequed the burgers because by late afternoon, Andrew was also starting to feel sick.
By bedtime I was feeling a lot better, but my poor hubby was as sick as a dog. He was sick all night long and has been snoozing on the sofa all morning. He was supposed to sing at a funeral this morning, but had to cancel.
So, I've learned ... the flu is the gift that keeps on giving!!! My advice ... try not to get it!
PS. not for one minute do I regret helping a friend in need. It was a joy to do it and I'd do it again in a heartbeat!
Friday, March 07, 2008
My sister sent this story this morning ....
When I was putting Alandria to bed I began praying with her about God getting all the 'yuckies' out of our heart. When I was talking about God taking the 'yuckies' out of our hearts she said "like that blue thing what you use to get the yuckies out of my nose? that hurts me when you do that!" Of course, I went on and on about God taking them out, and Mommy can't do that, etc, etc. She said, "God is in my heart? With Jesus?" So, I asked her God's name . . . and she said "Jesus." Then she proceeded to tell me that there wasn't room in her heart for God. "Mommy, I don't have any room in my heart for God. I don't have any room in there. Well, maybe at the bottom of my tummy. No, there isn't any room in there. " So, I started to attempt to explain that God is actually in our heart . . . but I hardly got started and she sat up (she had been lying on the floor while i rubbed her back) and, "Mommy! Mommy! I have a great idea! God can go in my ear . . . where you clean it? He can go in there. He can go in there and slide down into my tummy!"
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Maybe I'll just delete this instead of publishing it ... or maybe not!
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Near the end of schooltime this afternoon I got a rare call from an old friend who now lives in Saskatchewan. We spent about an hour and a half chatting about her pregnancy, her kids, my kids, and mostly about all the incredible things God has been teaching each of us. We cried together, challenged each other and comforted one another. While I chatted, my hubby made a great pot of coffee and brought me a cup of it in my favourite red Starbucks mug. He also made sure the fire was stoked up and the family room was nice and warm and then left me to chat. What an absolute blessing to have such incredible friends!
For supper I made a recipe I haven't made for about 4 years. I even remembered what page (224) the recipe was on in my Betty Crocker cookbook! The Beef Stroganoff turned out soooo good! One of the best things was that I got the steak for the recipe for a great deal at the grocery store this morning ... I love getting a good deal!
After supper we headed to Belleville to attend a Belleville Bulls hockey game. We ran into an old friend last week and he is working in the Bulls' office and offered us free tickets to tonight's game. We had great seats and I was so impressed with the level of skill, the speed and even just the excitement in the building. Best of all, the Bulls won 4 -1!
On the way home, we were able to enjoy a lunar eclipse as it was happening. We got home just in time for MacKenzie to run in and get her telescope and some binoculars to witness even more of the eclipse. She and her dad came inside to get hats and mitts and even wrapped up in blankets and headed back outside in -12 C weather to watch God showing off!
God is sooooo good to me!
Monday, February 18, 2008
So, in honour of Family Day I continued to do what I do best ... serve the ones I love ... my family!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Saturday, February 02, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
I asked for the book Mosaic (by Amy Grant) for Christmas and was thrilled when my hubby bought it for me. I wouldn't say I've been a big fan of hers over the years, but I have enjoyed different aspects of her career. I thought the book was an autobiography and was looking forward to delving in. I was wrong. This book is several beautiful glimpses into the very public, as well as the very private, life of Amy Grant. It is neither chronological nor complete. Each "section" is a new thought, a story about part of her life, lyrics to songs, poems, truths shared from lessons learned, encouragement shared from personal growth and joy shared from friendships. Each page points to the Father's continual love and guidance. One of my favourite lines from the book was, "Nothing is wasted in life. Grief and pain enlarge our capacity for compassion and perseverance." Amy Grant
After my recommendation, two of my friends, Rhonda and Brandy, already have their own copies and the list of people wanting to borrow my copy of Mosaic is growing. Get ready to curl up and savour this book. You'll want to read it a bit at a time and then take time to reflect on your own life. Enjoy!
Monday, January 21, 2008
Stop by for a visit. Bookmark his blog and come back often ...
Get thinking ....
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Since my girls and I thought that we would be home alone last night we had a "Movie and Foot Spa" night planned. So, Andrew relaxed with the rest of us watching Bridge to Teribithia while getting our feet soaked, scrubbed and massaged. We let him skip the nail polish step!!