AprilMueller
I'm a Navy wife with 7 amazing boys ages 1 to 10 years old.
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Written by AprilMueller

Ingress

Come and join me in a game I love to play.  

You must chose from two teams, the Resistance, and the Enlightened.

The color blue lights the scanner with Resistance, 

Amazing green covers the world for Enlightened.  

Are you a smurf, or a frog?

I urge you to be Enlightened.  

Portals cover the world.

Capture them, deploy them, load up the mods, link them, and create the largest field.

Meet new people, work as a team, connect with others world wide.

Who will win the battle?  Only time will tell.

Ingress is a game created by Niantic, the makes of Pokemon Go.  It is not a simple game, and is much more complicated than Pokemon.  You must work as a team with people around the world.  You can not succeed in playing alone.  There are portals located all over the world.  They are mostly in the same locations as Poke stops, for those familiar with that game.  The goal of the game is to capture portals by deploying resonators(8 total) for your teams color(blue, or green).  Hack portals to collect keys.  Once a portal has been fully deployed, and keys obtained, they can be linked together.  Form a closed triangle, and a field will be created in your teams color.  There are checkpoints through out the day and a cycle throughout an extended time frame.  The team with the most field coverage wins the checkpoint and/or cycle.  Fields are measured in mind units as Ingress is really about the fight for the human mind....  Find out more.  Come play with me!  I am ENLIGHTENED!

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Written by AprilMueller
Ingress
Come and join me in a game I love to play.  
You must chose from two teams, the Resistance, and the Enlightened.
The color blue lights the scanner with Resistance, 
Amazing green covers the world for Enlightened.  
Are you a smurf, or a frog?
I urge you to be Enlightened.  
Portals cover the world.
Capture them, deploy them, load up the mods, link them, and create the largest field.
Meet new people, work as a team, connect with others world wide.
Who will win the battle?  Only time will tell.

Ingress is a game created by Niantic, the makes of Pokemon Go.  It is not a simple game, and is much more complicated than Pokemon.  You must work as a team with people around the world.  You can not succeed in playing alone.  There are portals located all over the world.  They are mostly in the same locations as Poke stops, for those familiar with that game.  The goal of the game is to capture portals by deploying resonators(8 total) for your teams color(blue, or green).  Hack portals to collect keys.  Once a portal has been fully deployed, and keys obtained, they can be linked together.  Form a closed triangle, and a field will be created in your teams color.  There are checkpoints through out the day and a cycle throughout an extended time frame.  The team with the most field coverage wins the checkpoint and/or cycle.  Fields are measured in mind units as Ingress is really about the fight for the human mind....  Find out more.  Come play with me!  I am ENLIGHTENED!
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Written by AprilMueller

Help me God!

Dear God, 

I don't know what happened or where to begin. I believe in You and Jesus Your Son. I know I can trust You with everything. I was so close to You. I have witnessed miracles, heard Your voice, felt Your overwhelming love. Why do I feel so distant now? Why do I find it hard to pray, read the Bible, spend time with You? Is it life? Is it the pain and hurt I have experienced? Is it the betrayal of people that were supposed to be Yours? The enemy and His distractions, lies, and manipulations. I can not attend church any more. It is more full of deceptions and a "way of life", traditions and paganism. So many claim to be Your children yet Your word says narrow is the pathway to life and FEW will find it. I was one of the church attender, do gooders. You saved me from that. You opened my eyes to Your overwhelming love. How nothing I did would ever suffice. I just needed to surrender to You. Lead me to true fellow brothers and sisters. Don't let me fall. Help me know what to do. How do I deal with the hurt and pain? What is Your Will for me? Lead me to Truth. Protect me. Open my heart to hear from You. Reveal Yourself to me. Draw me close to You. Please heal me. I need You. I know You will not fail me. Help me God is Jesus Name! Amen. 

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Written by AprilMueller
Help me God!
Dear God, 
I don't know what happened or where to begin. I believe in You and Jesus Your Son. I know I can trust You with everything. I was so close to You. I have witnessed miracles, heard Your voice, felt Your overwhelming love. Why do I feel so distant now? Why do I find it hard to pray, read the Bible, spend time with You? Is it life? Is it the pain and hurt I have experienced? Is it the betrayal of people that were supposed to be Yours? The enemy and His distractions, lies, and manipulations. I can not attend church any more. It is more full of deceptions and a "way of life", traditions and paganism. So many claim to be Your children yet Your word says narrow is the pathway to life and FEW will find it. I was one of the church attender, do gooders. You saved me from that. You opened my eyes to Your overwhelming love. How nothing I did would ever suffice. I just needed to surrender to You. Lead me to true fellow brothers and sisters. Don't let me fall. Help me know what to do. How do I deal with the hurt and pain? What is Your Will for me? Lead me to Truth. Protect me. Open my heart to hear from You. Reveal Yourself to me. Draw me close to You. Please heal me. I need You. I know You will not fail me. Help me God is Jesus Name! Amen. 
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Written by AprilMueller

Good, and Not so Good Mother's Day

Mother's Day, a holiday that some enjoy immensely, and others loathe. Sadness strikes those who have lost a mother, especially when it is a recent loss.  Anger comes from those who have tried for years to become a mother with no success.  Joy for those that have children of their own, or a great relationship with their own mother or mother like figure.  For me, I have a mix of emotions.  

I am a mother of seven wonderful boys.  I love them so much, and they are a great blessing.  They have brought many joys and sorrows to my life.  My children come with many challenges related to their special needs, but the love and joy they bring far out weigh any hardships we have had to endure.  In the mix of the seven children, I have had four miscarriages.  The first miscarriage happened after my third child. Doctors and friends tell you that it happens very often, and even though that may be true, nothing can describe the hurt and pain of losing a child through miscarriage.  I will forever remember those sweet angels.  

With the amount of love and joy I have for my children, it makes it very hard to deal with the relationship I have with my own mother.  Anyone who knows me knows how hurt I have been by my mom, and how much pain it causes me.  Even though my mother has done some horrible things to me, I still love her which makes things so much harder to deal with.  I still buy my mother a present for mothers day, but when I look for cards at the store or online, I can not buy most of them, because what they say would be a lie.  My Dad passed away when I was fifteen years old.  I tried to be close to my mom.  I was married at seventeen and moved away from home.  When I moved, I tried to keep in touch with my mom.  Even after moving away, the hurt continued to come.  Phone calls became more hurtful, but I just did not give up.  I continued to try and work on my relationship.  I finally backed off on trying, but not until I had my first miscarriage.  I then learned that I did not have to continue to let my mother hurt me, and that I needed to focus on my own family and being a good mother to my children.  

Now as the years have gone by, the thoughts of my mother continue to come up and cause me sadness often.  The worst part of all of it, is my mother has not attempted to get to know my children.  She does not talk to them, does not visit them, and even when my oldest was very sick and could have died, she still did not come.  My children to not know who she is and probably would not recognize her if they saw her.  It makes me so very sad.  I don't know what to do now.  My third son is now almost eight years old.  Time and hurt are still there and the pain overshadows every Mother's Day.  I love my mom very much and hope that one day, we may have a better relationship, but I also understand that it may never happen.

For now, I am choosing to focus on my amazing children, and being the best mother for them.  Their love is such a blessing for me.  I have many hand made cards and crafts that I will cherish for years.  I hope they know how much I love them, and I will do what I can to ensure that I remain a part of their lives as long as I am able.  My oldest just turned eleven!  They grow so quickly.  I look forward to all the years to come.

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Written by AprilMueller
Good, and Not so Good Mother's Day
Mother's Day, a holiday that some enjoy immensely, and others loathe. Sadness strikes those who have lost a mother, especially when it is a recent loss.  Anger comes from those who have tried for years to become a mother with no success.  Joy for those that have children of their own, or a great relationship with their own mother or mother like figure.  For me, I have a mix of emotions.  
I am a mother of seven wonderful boys.  I love them so much, and they are a great blessing.  They have brought many joys and sorrows to my life.  My children come with many challenges related to their special needs, but the love and joy they bring far out weigh any hardships we have had to endure.  In the mix of the seven children, I have had four miscarriages.  The first miscarriage happened after my third child. Doctors and friends tell you that it happens very often, and even though that may be true, nothing can describe the hurt and pain of losing a child through miscarriage.  I will forever remember those sweet angels.  
With the amount of love and joy I have for my children, it makes it very hard to deal with the relationship I have with my own mother.  Anyone who knows me knows how hurt I have been by my mom, and how much pain it causes me.  Even though my mother has done some horrible things to me, I still love her which makes things so much harder to deal with.  I still buy my mother a present for mothers day, but when I look for cards at the store or online, I can not buy most of them, because what they say would be a lie.  My Dad passed away when I was fifteen years old.  I tried to be close to my mom.  I was married at seventeen and moved away from home.  When I moved, I tried to keep in touch with my mom.  Even after moving away, the hurt continued to come.  Phone calls became more hurtful, but I just did not give up.  I continued to try and work on my relationship.  I finally backed off on trying, but not until I had my first miscarriage.  I then learned that I did not have to continue to let my mother hurt me, and that I needed to focus on my own family and being a good mother to my children.  
Now as the years have gone by, the thoughts of my mother continue to come up and cause me sadness often.  The worst part of all of it, is my mother has not attempted to get to know my children.  She does not talk to them, does not visit them, and even when my oldest was very sick and could have died, she still did not come.  My children to not know who she is and probably would not recognize her if they saw her.  It makes me so very sad.  I don't know what to do now.  My third son is now almost eight years old.  Time and hurt are still there and the pain overshadows every Mother's Day.  I love my mom very much and hope that one day, we may have a better relationship, but I also understand that it may never happen.
For now, I am choosing to focus on my amazing children, and being the best mother for them.  Their love is such a blessing for me.  I have many hand made cards and crafts that I will cherish for years.  I hope they know how much I love them, and I will do what I can to ensure that I remain a part of their lives as long as I am able.  My oldest just turned eleven!  They grow so quickly.  I look forward to all the years to come.
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Written by AprilMueller

Tsunami Relief

The tsunami that happened in 2004 was devastating to many people and countries.  I was a brand new EMT, my husband was deployed, and I wanted to help any way possible.  Steve, my mom's husband had a brother, Don, who was a leader with a disaster relief group who was planning a trip to Indonesia.  I contacted him, and was able to get my name on the list of people going on this trip.  It was a medical mission.  We would be traveling to Banda Aceh, one of the hardest hit places from the tsunami.  I was able to raise all of the money I needed for the trip, and even had some left over to help those in country.  The group would be leaving from California and I lived in Washington State, so I had to travel to California to meet the team I would be going with.  I had never done anything like this before.  I had seen the news reports, but nothing could prepare me for what I would see and experience.  The phase for search and rescue was over by now and things had transitioned into Recovery.  Our team would meet with a couple already in place on site, and we would be joined by another couple who would be our interpreters.  Since this was a medical mission, we were traveling with a couple of doctors, nurses, and EMT's such as myself.  We first went to Jakarta, where we were briefed on what we would be doing and the plan for the week.  What we did not know was, that very day that we landed in Jakarta, there was another major earthquake.  We had learned that someone linked to our organization was on an island near the location of the earthquake, and there was heavy damage on the island.  A decision was made to split up our team, and the men would be sent directly to the island for search and rescue.  We were put with part of another team, and we flew out to Banda Aceh.  Banda Aceh had been gripped with civil war prior to the earthquake.  The population was almost entirely Muslim as this place is one of the stepping stones to Mecca.  This alone put our team at risk, as Americans were not well liked there.  We had to be very careful what we said, and we had to follow the customs of the people there.  We had to wear the traditional head coverings, which was a new experience for me as well.  We landed in Banda Aceh, greeted by men with weapons.  As we exited the airport, the very first thing we saw was a mass grave.  I have no idea how many people were buried there, but it was so sad to see.  Pictures of some had been posted along the outside, and some people stood outside the perimeter mourning.  We made our way to the house we would be staying in.  There was no hot water, and the accommodations were minimal.  Banda Aceh is very close to the equator, so the weather was extremely hot.  We had to carry liter bottles of water with us, and the water had to be drank warm.  You are able to take in more water when it is warm vise cold, and hydration was very important.  We would be setting up and doing two medical clinics a day.  We would see up to 200 patients each day.  My job was to do a type of triage, and take vital signs.  I became an expert at taking vitals by the end of the trip.  The cool part of my job, was I had direct contact with every person that came to the clinic.  I was able to talk to many of them and hear their stories, and I was able to share more myself, as I had to work directly with an interpreter.  The stories were heart breaking.  The news just could not share the whole story.  The very sad part of this all, was the majority of the deaths were women and children.  As I said before, this is a mostly Muslim country.  The men were in town working, while the women were home attending to the home and the children.  The devastation was beyond description.  It literally looked like bulldozers lined up next to each other and just drove inland for 3 miles, demolishing everything in their path.  The random palm tree remained as well as some buildings that were built with reinforced concrete.  Even though we were there a few months after the initial tsunami, bodies were still being found in open areas.  Many temporary camps were set up, but most people did not have clean water to drink, and the majority of people we saw were dehydrated and malnourished.  We saw cases of malaria, TB, a woman with a huge goiter, and even had a couple gunshot victims.  One of the saddest stories I heard was a woman who said she had her baby wrapped in a sling around her and as the water came rushing in, she tried with all her might to hold onto the baby, but the water swept him away.  It was extremely difficult to hear the peoples stories.  There was just nothing you could say.  All we could do was provide the help we came there to provide, and to express our love and care for them.  Our group was only allowed to stay in country for 2 weeks.  The emotional toll was so tremendous, that time had to be limited for each group to be on site. I learned much on this trip, and was an experience I will never forget.   We take so many things for granted and it really puts life into perspective to see others in a situation like this. I have a strong faith in God, and it was very clear that God was present.  There is a song by Avalon that really stood out to me as I returned home.  It is called, "You were there."  A line from the song still rings in my mind to this day when I face hardships.  "Haven't I learned that my ways aren't as high as Your's are."  It is very hard to understand why these things happen, and it can be easy to blame God.  I just know that He loved us so much, that He sent His Son to die for me.  We can trust Him and He will never leave us or forsake us.  This event in my life had such an impact on me, that I am currently seeking a career in crisis counseling and have a goal to work in disaster relief.  This is for sure an event that will always be clear in my mind.  

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Written by AprilMueller
Tsunami Relief
The tsunami that happened in 2004 was devastating to many people and countries.  I was a brand new EMT, my husband was deployed, and I wanted to help any way possible.  Steve, my mom's husband had a brother, Don, who was a leader with a disaster relief group who was planning a trip to Indonesia.  I contacted him, and was able to get my name on the list of people going on this trip.  It was a medical mission.  We would be traveling to Banda Aceh, one of the hardest hit places from the tsunami.  I was able to raise all of the money I needed for the trip, and even had some left over to help those in country.  The group would be leaving from California and I lived in Washington State, so I had to travel to California to meet the team I would be going with.  I had never done anything like this before.  I had seen the news reports, but nothing could prepare me for what I would see and experience.  The phase for search and rescue was over by now and things had transitioned into Recovery.  Our team would meet with a couple already in place on site, and we would be joined by another couple who would be our interpreters.  Since this was a medical mission, we were traveling with a couple of doctors, nurses, and EMT's such as myself.  We first went to Jakarta, where we were briefed on what we would be doing and the plan for the week.  What we did not know was, that very day that we landed in Jakarta, there was another major earthquake.  We had learned that someone linked to our organization was on an island near the location of the earthquake, and there was heavy damage on the island.  A decision was made to split up our team, and the men would be sent directly to the island for search and rescue.  We were put with part of another team, and we flew out to Banda Aceh.  Banda Aceh had been gripped with civil war prior to the earthquake.  The population was almost entirely Muslim as this place is one of the stepping stones to Mecca.  This alone put our team at risk, as Americans were not well liked there.  We had to be very careful what we said, and we had to follow the customs of the people there.  We had to wear the traditional head coverings, which was a new experience for me as well.  We landed in Banda Aceh, greeted by men with weapons.  As we exited the airport, the very first thing we saw was a mass grave.  I have no idea how many people were buried there, but it was so sad to see.  Pictures of some had been posted along the outside, and some people stood outside the perimeter mourning.  We made our way to the house we would be staying in.  There was no hot water, and the accommodations were minimal.  Banda Aceh is very close to the equator, so the weather was extremely hot.  We had to carry liter bottles of water with us, and the water had to be drank warm.  You are able to take in more water when it is warm vise cold, and hydration was very important.  We would be setting up and doing two medical clinics a day.  We would see up to 200 patients each day.  My job was to do a type of triage, and take vital signs.  I became an expert at taking vitals by the end of the trip.  The cool part of my job, was I had direct contact with every person that came to the clinic.  I was able to talk to many of them and hear their stories, and I was able to share more myself, as I had to work directly with an interpreter.  The stories were heart breaking.  The news just could not share the whole story.  The very sad part of this all, was the majority of the deaths were women and children.  As I said before, this is a mostly Muslim country.  The men were in town working, while the women were home attending to the home and the children.  The devastation was beyond description.  It literally looked like bulldozers lined up next to each other and just drove inland for 3 miles, demolishing everything in their path.  The random palm tree remained as well as some buildings that were built with reinforced concrete.  Even though we were there a few months after the initial tsunami, bodies were still being found in open areas.  Many temporary camps were set up, but most people did not have clean water to drink, and the majority of people we saw were dehydrated and malnourished.  We saw cases of malaria, TB, a woman with a huge goiter, and even had a couple gunshot victims.  One of the saddest stories I heard was a woman who said she had her baby wrapped in a sling around her and as the water came rushing in, she tried with all her might to hold onto the baby, but the water swept him away.  It was extremely difficult to hear the peoples stories.  There was just nothing you could say.  All we could do was provide the help we came there to provide, and to express our love and care for them.  Our group was only allowed to stay in country for 2 weeks.  The emotional toll was so tremendous, that time had to be limited for each group to be on site. I learned much on this trip, and was an experience I will never forget.   We take so many things for granted and it really puts life into perspective to see others in a situation like this. I have a strong faith in God, and it was very clear that God was present.  There is a song by Avalon that really stood out to me as I returned home.  It is called, "You were there."  A line from the song still rings in my mind to this day when I face hardships.  "Haven't I learned that my ways aren't as high as Your's are."  It is very hard to understand why these things happen, and it can be easy to blame God.  I just know that He loved us so much, that He sent His Son to die for me.  We can trust Him and He will never leave us or forsake us.  This event in my life had such an impact on me, that I am currently seeking a career in crisis counseling and have a goal to work in disaster relief.  This is for sure an event that will always be clear in my mind.  
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CotW #63: Take a much-loved Disney story, twist it into an adult, kick-in-the-gut tale. Poetry or Prose. The most eloquent, elegant, entertaining entry, ascertained by Prose, earns $100 and stays atop the Spotlight shelf for six straight days. Feel free to invite friends, distant family, even strange acquaintances to play this challenge with you anonymously. Please use #twistedtales for sharing online. Now lights, camera, fiction.
Written by AprilMueller

Purity Dies

I sat in the middle of the room, gazing at the floor.  It was cold and dark, and the floor felt like a sheet of ice against my skin.  Suddenly, a flame appeared!  A man dressed in a black robe entered the room carrying a torch.  As the flame lit the room, I looked around to observe my surroundings.  I was dressed in what appeared to be a long, flowing wedding gown.  The room smelled of roses, and sweet perfume.  My attention returned to the man carrying the torch.  Six more men followed behind him all dressed the same and carrying torches.  As they came closer, my heart began to pound, and I pulled against the chains that held me down.  Memories rushed through my head of the past sixteen years.  Snow white was the name I had been given, probably due to the paleness of my skin, or perhaps because of the innocence I portrayed.  All these years of captivity had led to this moment.  The men barely ever spoke to me.  I only identified them by the way I perceived them; nicknames I suppose.  They sat their torches down as they formed a circle around a concrete alter of some sort.  The one I called Doc, grabbed me and pulled me to the alter, where my chains were replaced with ropes that held me down, arms stretched over my head and feet spread wide.  I screamed in terror, and fought with all my might, but to no avail.  The seven men slowly approached me.  If they said anything, I could not hear.  A blade raised high glistened in the light of the torch, then pain gripped my as blood flowed from my body, staining the beautiful white gown.  I writhed in pain, screaming all the more, as the men, took a chalice and collected my blood.  They turned and grabbed the torches from the ground, following the path taken as they entered, they each walked slowly from the room, carrying away the chalice of my blood.  Darkness, pain, cold, left alone to die.  Tears flowed from my eyes as I slowly lost strength, my cries diminished and my breath ceased.

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CotW #63: Take a much-loved Disney story, twist it into an adult, kick-in-the-gut tale. Poetry or Prose. The most eloquent, elegant, entertaining entry, ascertained by Prose, earns $100 and stays atop the Spotlight shelf for six straight days. Feel free to invite friends, distant family, even strange acquaintances to play this challenge with you anonymously. Please use #twistedtales for sharing online. Now lights, camera, fiction.
Written by AprilMueller
Purity Dies
I sat in the middle of the room, gazing at the floor.  It was cold and dark, and the floor felt like a sheet of ice against my skin.  Suddenly, a flame appeared!  A man dressed in a black robe entered the room carrying a torch.  As the flame lit the room, I looked around to observe my surroundings.  I was dressed in what appeared to be a long, flowing wedding gown.  The room smelled of roses, and sweet perfume.  My attention returned to the man carrying the torch.  Six more men followed behind him all dressed the same and carrying torches.  As they came closer, my heart began to pound, and I pulled against the chains that held me down.  Memories rushed through my head of the past sixteen years.  Snow white was the name I had been given, probably due to the paleness of my skin, or perhaps because of the innocence I portrayed.  All these years of captivity had led to this moment.  The men barely ever spoke to me.  I only identified them by the way I perceived them; nicknames I suppose.  They sat their torches down as they formed a circle around a concrete alter of some sort.  The one I called Doc, grabbed me and pulled me to the alter, where my chains were replaced with ropes that held me down, arms stretched over my head and feet spread wide.  I screamed in terror, and fought with all my might, but to no avail.  The seven men slowly approached me.  If they said anything, I could not hear.  A blade raised high glistened in the light of the torch, then pain gripped my as blood flowed from my body, staining the beautiful white gown.  I writhed in pain, screaming all the more, as the men, took a chalice and collected my blood.  They turned and grabbed the torches from the ground, following the path taken as they entered, they each walked slowly from the room, carrying away the chalice of my blood.  Darkness, pain, cold, left alone to die.  Tears flowed from my eyes as I slowly lost strength, my cries diminished and my breath ceased.
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Give us a little piece of your wisdom. Create your own proverb or quote. This is the quote you'll be remembered by, the quote that will go on fortune cookies and quote books, so make it a good one. 50 coins for the winner. Happy quoting!
Written by AprilMueller

Forgive

Forgive everyone always. This does not mean accepting or justifying the action done.  It means it is now in God's hands, and you are free.

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Give us a little piece of your wisdom. Create your own proverb or quote. This is the quote you'll be remembered by, the quote that will go on fortune cookies and quote books, so make it a good one. 50 coins for the winner. Happy quoting!
Written by AprilMueller
Forgive
Forgive everyone always. This does not mean accepting or justifying the action done.  It means it is now in God's hands, and you are free.
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Written by AprilMueller

Problem Solving

Problem solving is a skill I am very good at.  Good thing too, with the problems I face on a regular basis.  My mind is like a hamster wheal, going, and going, and going.  Years ago, I even took a logic class and enjoyed it very much.  

With seven children, I face problems of all kinds on a daily basis.  Whether it is a prescription that was not filled correctly, a referral that has gone missing, or a child who lost my keys, I am on the task to figure it out.  Of course I am not perfect, and have ran into difficult to solve problems.  I would like to share some of the problems I have faced as a special needs mom.

Having seven children alone is full difficulties itself.  The good thing is, however, by child seven, you are pretty much an expert when it comes to your kids.  With the first child, you are so careful to do everything write and buy the expensive things, carry everything with you in huge bags, and so on.  By child seven, I just carry the least amount possible, find every way to save money, and if a kid gets a few bumps and bruises, it is OK.  These are the types of things I enjoy taking care of.  The more difficult problems come with the special needs.  I have come to a point that I become anxious with any phone call.  I literally can not answer the phone and do not answer the phone.  For years, almost every phone call is a new problem, or someone I have to argue with to get something done that needs to be done.  I have learned to let the calls go to voicemail.  That way, I can listen when I am ready, and I can respond when I am ready.  I have let people know to not contact me by phone but by text or email.  This can become burdensome when I know I need to call insurance about a bill not being paid, but really don't want to, so it gets put off for far too long.  Or, I need to call the doctor for a doctors order for my nurses, and I just become anxious and it doesn't get done as soon as it should.  It is unfortunate, but it has come after years of dealing with very rude people on the phone.  I often wonder what happened to real customer service and why so many people just don't do their jobs.  

I don't know how many times my oldest son has needed a new prescription, and the doctor writes it to be giving by mouth, when they SHOULD know by now that he takes nothing by mouth and everything should be given by g-tube.  Of course, I have to go back to the doctor for a new script because I have nurses who care for my son, and they have to follow the instructions given by the doctor.  Another issue is referrals.  With the military, the insurance companies require a minimum of 72 hours to process referrals. So, I do the normal thing and wait 72 hours, then call to get the referral information, only to find out the doctor forgot to put in the referral.  Then, any calls made to the doctor are taken as messages, with a promise to reply in 48 hours, and then another 72 hour wait for the referral.  It is such a headache.  Scheduling appointments is another big task that I face every month.  It is very difficult to work around multiple people's schedules and multiple clinics in order to get what I need done in a month.  Many specialty clinics do not allow other children to come to the appointments, so I must have child care set up.  For my respite care workers, I make a schedule for a month in advance.  It is the only way that I can make sure that I have coverage.  If anything comes up, such as a sick child, or myself being sick, it throws a wrench in all my planning and causes for some big headaches.  To make things more difficult, they kids come home at three different times during the day.  I have one child in preschool who goes to school early and comes home before his brothers, a kindergartner that has half day and comes home around noon, and the other children come home around 3:30.  I can not drop the kids off early for school either, and most appointments are an hour drive from home, because that is where the military hospital is from our home.  Basically, my first son gets on the bus at 7:20AM, and three sons get on the bus around 8:20AM.  This makes it so that I can not schedule any appointment until 9:30AM.  My first son comes home at noon, my second at 2:50PM, and the last two at 3:30PM.  To make things even more difficult, the respite care workers can only work if one of the designated special needs kids are home. This means that I really can't use respite care until noon.  I am also limited to 60 hours a month, and this includes my actual respite time.  Then add on that every military clinic closes at 3:30 and schools do not like kids missing school for appointments.  It is pretty crazy.  I manage however, with a very organized and coordinated schedule.  I have a color coded calendar with a different color for each child and each adult.  I put everything in the calendar including bus pick ups and drop offs, when to start dinner, and when to start the night routine, as well as the appointments and whether I have child care or not.  I copy everything onto a monthly calendar to display for everyone to see and I share my calendar with my husband.  I inform teachers of when I will be picking up any kids early or bringing them in late.  I use all of my respite hours every month, so if I need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, I can not do it until the next month starts unless my husband can take time off from work.  The military is not too big on their members taking time off on short notice. 

I think it is a good thing that God made me a good problem solver, and maybe a little OCD.  I don't know how I could function any other way.  I guess maybe one day I can be a planner for others.  I will be an expert one day.  Hahaha. 

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Written by AprilMueller
Problem Solving
Problem solving is a skill I am very good at.  Good thing too, with the problems I face on a regular basis.  My mind is like a hamster wheal, going, and going, and going.  Years ago, I even took a logic class and enjoyed it very much.  
With seven children, I face problems of all kinds on a daily basis.  Whether it is a prescription that was not filled correctly, a referral that has gone missing, or a child who lost my keys, I am on the task to figure it out.  Of course I am not perfect, and have ran into difficult to solve problems.  I would like to share some of the problems I have faced as a special needs mom.
Having seven children alone is full difficulties itself.  The good thing is, however, by child seven, you are pretty much an expert when it comes to your kids.  With the first child, you are so careful to do everything write and buy the expensive things, carry everything with you in huge bags, and so on.  By child seven, I just carry the least amount possible, find every way to save money, and if a kid gets a few bumps and bruises, it is OK.  These are the types of things I enjoy taking care of.  The more difficult problems come with the special needs.  I have come to a point that I become anxious with any phone call.  I literally can not answer the phone and do not answer the phone.  For years, almost every phone call is a new problem, or someone I have to argue with to get something done that needs to be done.  I have learned to let the calls go to voicemail.  That way, I can listen when I am ready, and I can respond when I am ready.  I have let people know to not contact me by phone but by text or email.  This can become burdensome when I know I need to call insurance about a bill not being paid, but really don't want to, so it gets put off for far too long.  Or, I need to call the doctor for a doctors order for my nurses, and I just become anxious and it doesn't get done as soon as it should.  It is unfortunate, but it has come after years of dealing with very rude people on the phone.  I often wonder what happened to real customer service and why so many people just don't do their jobs.  
I don't know how many times my oldest son has needed a new prescription, and the doctor writes it to be giving by mouth, when they SHOULD know by now that he takes nothing by mouth and everything should be given by g-tube.  Of course, I have to go back to the doctor for a new script because I have nurses who care for my son, and they have to follow the instructions given by the doctor.  Another issue is referrals.  With the military, the insurance companies require a minimum of 72 hours to process referrals. So, I do the normal thing and wait 72 hours, then call to get the referral information, only to find out the doctor forgot to put in the referral.  Then, any calls made to the doctor are taken as messages, with a promise to reply in 48 hours, and then another 72 hour wait for the referral.  It is such a headache.  Scheduling appointments is another big task that I face every month.  It is very difficult to work around multiple people's schedules and multiple clinics in order to get what I need done in a month.  Many specialty clinics do not allow other children to come to the appointments, so I must have child care set up.  For my respite care workers, I make a schedule for a month in advance.  It is the only way that I can make sure that I have coverage.  If anything comes up, such as a sick child, or myself being sick, it throws a wrench in all my planning and causes for some big headaches.  To make things more difficult, they kids come home at three different times during the day.  I have one child in preschool who goes to school early and comes home before his brothers, a kindergartner that has half day and comes home around noon, and the other children come home around 3:30.  I can not drop the kids off early for school either, and most appointments are an hour drive from home, because that is where the military hospital is from our home.  Basically, my first son gets on the bus at 7:20AM, and three sons get on the bus around 8:20AM.  This makes it so that I can not schedule any appointment until 9:30AM.  My first son comes home at noon, my second at 2:50PM, and the last two at 3:30PM.  To make things even more difficult, the respite care workers can only work if one of the designated special needs kids are home. This means that I really can't use respite care until noon.  I am also limited to 60 hours a month, and this includes my actual respite time.  Then add on that every military clinic closes at 3:30 and schools do not like kids missing school for appointments.  It is pretty crazy.  I manage however, with a very organized and coordinated schedule.  I have a color coded calendar with a different color for each child and each adult.  I put everything in the calendar including bus pick ups and drop offs, when to start dinner, and when to start the night routine, as well as the appointments and whether I have child care or not.  I copy everything onto a monthly calendar to display for everyone to see and I share my calendar with my husband.  I inform teachers of when I will be picking up any kids early or bringing them in late.  I use all of my respite hours every month, so if I need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, I can not do it until the next month starts unless my husband can take time off from work.  The military is not too big on their members taking time off on short notice. 
I think it is a good thing that God made me a good problem solver, and maybe a little OCD.  I don't know how I could function any other way.  I guess maybe one day I can be a planner for others.  I will be an expert one day.  Hahaha. 
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Written by AprilMueller

Special Mom

Raising special needs children has taught me so many things.  I know other parents would benefit from what I have learned and I want to share those things.  I find it difficult to find time to write things down.  One day I hope to compile my short writings into a more complete book.  I am going to jot some things down now.

The very first thing that comes to my mind, is leave fault and blame out of it.  Judging anyone, yourself, or anything for having a special needs child will not help or solve anything.  Every child is a blessing, no matter what!  They were created for a purpose, even if just to learn the "least of these."  After having my first son, and experiencing the hardships of special needs, finding out I was pregnant again was a scary thing.  Of course I wondered if I could do anything or change anything so this would not happen again.  The truth to this answer is no.  I had a family member who had a child the same time I did, however she was a drug addict and very unhealthy, yet she had a healthy baby.  I ate extremely healthy with my first son and second, but I can't say I ate very healthy with a couple of my children.  I took aspirin for a couple pregnancies, as well as high levels of folic acid.  I have had many people say very mean things to me, telling me if I had done one of many different things, things would be better.  This is just simply a lie.  Of course studies have shown certain things can cause defects or issues with babies while they are developing, like radiation, and certain medication, but most mothers do not purposely expose themselves to things they know are harmful.  I did the best I could with all of my children.  

The next thing I think about is research.  The best thing I ever did was research everything I could about my children's conditions.  I asked as many questions as possible, even the hard ones.  I know this is not easy for everyone, but you will and must be an advocate for your child.  You can not expect anyone else to do it for you.  The more you know, the better advocate you can be.  Believe me, the medical field is full of people who are arrogant, and will claim to be superior simply because of a degree.  Do not let them intimidate you.  You know your child better than anyone else.  Trust your gut.  If something doesn't seem right, research it.  Keep pushing for answers.  With Elijah, I was told for almost 2 years that the only reason he was throwing up five to a hundred times a day was simply re-flux and he would grow out of it. I just knew that re-flux would not cause a child to need to be tube fed for all nutrition, even with that, medication and elemental formula, the symptoms would not be controlled.  I pushed for a second opinion.  I remember this clearly, as the doctor said to my face, "it's not like he is dying or anything!"  I could not believe my ears.  I knew I was entitled to a second opinion so I pushed for it.  After the second opinion did not produce results, I pushed for a third.  Again, we did not have an answer, so I pushed for a fourth.  This is when I was told about an invasive study that could be done, but it would require a hospital stay and a good amount of travel to the location.  The doctor I spoke to felt it was not worth doing the study and said it would not change course of treatment.  I disagreed. I pushed for a 5th opinion, this time traveling from Virginia Beach to a Motility specialist in Columbus Ohio.  I met one of the leading specialist in the world, and she was happy to do the testing and give us the answers we so desperately needed. Sure enough, we did get an answer.  The test showed that the nerves in Elijah's stomach and intestines were dead and not working.  There was almost no movement in the digestion track.  Unfortunately, their is no cure for this as science at this time do not know how to regrow nerves.  

If you know and feel that more is going on with your child, keep pushing for it.  

The last thing for this I will write about it, know who your real friends are.  We learned very quickly that many people could not handle or be around us any more because they could not or did not know how to handle us or our son any more.  This is ok and I know it will hurt, and will make you feel betrayed, but it is for the best.  You do not need these type of people in your life.  Let them go and do not stress over it.  You will find new friends that really care about you and will be great supports for you.  For those that hang in there and help you and go with you though the struggle, cherish them with everything you have.  Be sure to thank them whenever possible.  They can get overwhelmed at times, just as you can, but a thank you goes a long way.  Not just a verbal thank you, but a written note, a gift, or kind gesture.  Hang on to those people.  If you have no close friends, it is ok.  It may be that way for quit some time.  Seek assistance through what ever programs you can find.  Even online support groups can be helpful and encouraging.  You got this and are special yourself.  It may be a rough road, but I promise your child or children will bless you beyond anything you can imagine!

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Written by AprilMueller
Special Mom
Raising special needs children has taught me so many things.  I know other parents would benefit from what I have learned and I want to share those things.  I find it difficult to find time to write things down.  One day I hope to compile my short writings into a more complete book.  I am going to jot some things down now.
The very first thing that comes to my mind, is leave fault and blame out of it.  Judging anyone, yourself, or anything for having a special needs child will not help or solve anything.  Every child is a blessing, no matter what!  They were created for a purpose, even if just to learn the "least of these."  After having my first son, and experiencing the hardships of special needs, finding out I was pregnant again was a scary thing.  Of course I wondered if I could do anything or change anything so this would not happen again.  The truth to this answer is no.  I had a family member who had a child the same time I did, however she was a drug addict and very unhealthy, yet she had a healthy baby.  I ate extremely healthy with my first son and second, but I can't say I ate very healthy with a couple of my children.  I took aspirin for a couple pregnancies, as well as high levels of folic acid.  I have had many people say very mean things to me, telling me if I had done one of many different things, things would be better.  This is just simply a lie.  Of course studies have shown certain things can cause defects or issues with babies while they are developing, like radiation, and certain medication, but most mothers do not purposely expose themselves to things they know are harmful.  I did the best I could with all of my children.  
The next thing I think about is research.  The best thing I ever did was research everything I could about my children's conditions.  I asked as many questions as possible, even the hard ones.  I know this is not easy for everyone, but you will and must be an advocate for your child.  You can not expect anyone else to do it for you.  The more you know, the better advocate you can be.  Believe me, the medical field is full of people who are arrogant, and will claim to be superior simply because of a degree.  Do not let them intimidate you.  You know your child better than anyone else.  Trust your gut.  If something doesn't seem right, research it.  Keep pushing for answers.  With Elijah, I was told for almost 2 years that the only reason he was throwing up five to a hundred times a day was simply re-flux and he would grow out of it. I just knew that re-flux would not cause a child to need to be tube fed for all nutrition, even with that, medication and elemental formula, the symptoms would not be controlled.  I pushed for a second opinion.  I remember this clearly, as the doctor said to my face, "it's not like he is dying or anything!"  I could not believe my ears.  I knew I was entitled to a second opinion so I pushed for it.  After the second opinion did not produce results, I pushed for a third.  Again, we did not have an answer, so I pushed for a fourth.  This is when I was told about an invasive study that could be done, but it would require a hospital stay and a good amount of travel to the location.  The doctor I spoke to felt it was not worth doing the study and said it would not change course of treatment.  I disagreed. I pushed for a 5th opinion, this time traveling from Virginia Beach to a Motility specialist in Columbus Ohio.  I met one of the leading specialist in the world, and she was happy to do the testing and give us the answers we so desperately needed. Sure enough, we did get an answer.  The test showed that the nerves in Elijah's stomach and intestines were dead and not working.  There was almost no movement in the digestion track.  Unfortunately, their is no cure for this as science at this time do not know how to regrow nerves.  
If you know and feel that more is going on with your child, keep pushing for it.  
The last thing for this I will write about it, know who your real friends are.  We learned very quickly that many people could not handle or be around us any more because they could not or did not know how to handle us or our son any more.  This is ok and I know it will hurt, and will make you feel betrayed, but it is for the best.  You do not need these type of people in your life.  Let them go and do not stress over it.  You will find new friends that really care about you and will be great supports for you.  For those that hang in there and help you and go with you though the struggle, cherish them with everything you have.  Be sure to thank them whenever possible.  They can get overwhelmed at times, just as you can, but a thank you goes a long way.  Not just a verbal thank you, but a written note, a gift, or kind gesture.  Hang on to those people.  If you have no close friends, it is ok.  It may be that way for quit some time.  Seek assistance through what ever programs you can find.  Even online support groups can be helpful and encouraging.  You got this and are special yourself.  It may be a rough road, but I promise your child or children will bless you beyond anything you can imagine!
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Challenge of the Week #62: Tell us the story of Lucifer, where Lucifer is female. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by AprilMueller

Elevator to Hell

I sat quietly at the table.  The room was full of talking and laughter.  People we sitting next to me and around me, but I took no notice of them.  My mind wandered, thinking about life, and what did it all mean?  I felt a tap on my shoulder.  I turned around to find a man, dressed in an all black suit, very sharp, nice hair cut, white shirt, black tie.  He saw the look of confusion on my face and said, "Hello ma'am."  I thought to myself, "who is this guy and what does he want?"  He continued saying, "I am here to offer you a very special experience that will change your life forever.  I have the key to hell, and I will give you a tour.  Don't worry, you will be safe, as there is an elevator that goes from top to bottom.  You will be able to see everything, but no harm will come to you.  Would you like this opportunity?" "Yes," I exclaimed!  As I stepped into the elevator, fear came over me.  What would I see, and who would I see?  The elevator began to move.  I could not believe my eyes.  I saw spirits, just like you would expect to see, transparent strings of light with faces.  Thousands of spirits circled me.  Their faces, expressed agony and their screams made my hair stand on end.  It became darker, and harder to see.  From the dark came monsters, creatures, and abominations so terrifying.  Some had wings, that looked like bats, but with human faces.  Skeletons of animals and mixtures of creatures like I had never seen before.  Some looked like lions, but with burnt bodies and flesh falling off of them.  The further down I went, the more terrifying the monsters.  Giant teeth that looked like they could snap you in half, claws that looked like daggers, skin and bones, scales, and heights that were twenty times larger than me.  Fire surrounded everything, but no light accompanied the flames.  As I continued down, I saw that I was approaching the end.  The creatures around me began to be smaller, and smaller, and became more like bugs and insects, slug like creatures that oozed along the walls.  It seemed to me that the further down I went, the more evil the creatures became.  I wondered what would I find at the bottom?  Darkness surrounded me, the air was stale, and fear took hold of me.  It was desolate, not a creature in site.  As the elevator stopped, and began to ascend back up, Lucifer appeared in the elevator with me!  The appearance startled me, and I nearly had a heart attack.  To my shock, Lucifer was a woman!  Her appearance at firsts was as a beautiful angel that lit up the whole elevator.  She had beautiful blond hair, a perfect body, and a face that mesmerized me.  Then, in a flash, her form changed to a hideous creature with pointy ears, green rough skin, and teeth bigger than her mouth.  Her hair remained the same, but her entire body transformed to a gross looking troll.  She then changed into a spirit, and flew right through me.  Just then, the elevator rushed to the surface.  I stepped out of the elevator, paralyzed with fear, I just stood there.  Lies, all lies.  I never imagined Lucifer was a woman.  Hell was no place I wanted to go.  What would I do?  What should I think? If this is hell, what is heaven?

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Challenge of the Week #62: Tell us the story of Lucifer, where Lucifer is female. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by AprilMueller
Elevator to Hell
I sat quietly at the table.  The room was full of talking and laughter.  People we sitting next to me and around me, but I took no notice of them.  My mind wandered, thinking about life, and what did it all mean?  I felt a tap on my shoulder.  I turned around to find a man, dressed in an all black suit, very sharp, nice hair cut, white shirt, black tie.  He saw the look of confusion on my face and said, "Hello ma'am."  I thought to myself, "who is this guy and what does he want?"  He continued saying, "I am here to offer you a very special experience that will change your life forever.  I have the key to hell, and I will give you a tour.  Don't worry, you will be safe, as there is an elevator that goes from top to bottom.  You will be able to see everything, but no harm will come to you.  Would you like this opportunity?" "Yes," I exclaimed!  As I stepped into the elevator, fear came over me.  What would I see, and who would I see?  The elevator began to move.  I could not believe my eyes.  I saw spirits, just like you would expect to see, transparent strings of light with faces.  Thousands of spirits circled me.  Their faces, expressed agony and their screams made my hair stand on end.  It became darker, and harder to see.  From the dark came monsters, creatures, and abominations so terrifying.  Some had wings, that looked like bats, but with human faces.  Skeletons of animals and mixtures of creatures like I had never seen before.  Some looked like lions, but with burnt bodies and flesh falling off of them.  The further down I went, the more terrifying the monsters.  Giant teeth that looked like they could snap you in half, claws that looked like daggers, skin and bones, scales, and heights that were twenty times larger than me.  Fire surrounded everything, but no light accompanied the flames.  As I continued down, I saw that I was approaching the end.  The creatures around me began to be smaller, and smaller, and became more like bugs and insects, slug like creatures that oozed along the walls.  It seemed to me that the further down I went, the more evil the creatures became.  I wondered what would I find at the bottom?  Darkness surrounded me, the air was stale, and fear took hold of me.  It was desolate, not a creature in site.  As the elevator stopped, and began to ascend back up, Lucifer appeared in the elevator with me!  The appearance startled me, and I nearly had a heart attack.  To my shock, Lucifer was a woman!  Her appearance at firsts was as a beautiful angel that lit up the whole elevator.  She had beautiful blond hair, a perfect body, and a face that mesmerized me.  Then, in a flash, her form changed to a hideous creature with pointy ears, green rough skin, and teeth bigger than her mouth.  Her hair remained the same, but her entire body transformed to a gross looking troll.  She then changed into a spirit, and flew right through me.  Just then, the elevator rushed to the surface.  I stepped out of the elevator, paralyzed with fear, I just stood there.  Lies, all lies.  I never imagined Lucifer was a woman.  Hell was no place I wanted to go.  What would I do?  What should I think? If this is hell, what is heaven?
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Challenge of the Week #60: You have just discovered a new lifeform. Write a story of 200 words or more. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by AprilMueller

Sci-Fi

I walked into the room and slowly observed my surroundings.  Tables were lined up in rows, a reminder of being in a school cafeteria.  At first, things seemed to be normal.  I was not quite sure where I was.  The room was filled with people of all kinds.  Following the flow of the others, I sat down at one of the tables.  No one seemed to notice me.  Everyone was smiling and talking; the chatter was very loud.  Suddenly, I felt something strange in my mouth.  It felt grainy, but soft and squishy, like oatmeal that has been cooked too long.  The taste seemed to not exist, but I knew I did not want this in my mouth.  I spat it out on the floor. It was a light shade of brown, and almost looked like chewed up cornflakes, held together with gooey snot.  To my surprise, more of this substance developed in my mouth.  I spit it out again, and again, and again.  I glanced up to see everyone else in the room doing the same thing.  Thoughts rushed through my mind, trying to figure out what was going on.  The substance began to change form, turning from a flaky substance into goo, and began to slowly move.  It became clear that this was some form of life.  I watched in shock as it slowly grew to what looked like a brown slug, and then a long brown snake!  I felt like I was in some strange Dr. Who show, "The Invasion of the Satan Parasite!"  Snake like creatures were everywhere, and soon, the beings were growing so quickly, we were all vomiting these disgusting things fully formed!  We, ourselves, started to look like the Ood!  Was this the end for me?  Would I die?

Suddenly, I awoke to realize it was just a dream.  I was in shock, and questioned where that idea had come from!  I think I should take a break from watching science fiction shows for a bit.  

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Challenge of the Week #60: You have just discovered a new lifeform. Write a story of 200 words or more. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by AprilMueller
Sci-Fi
I walked into the room and slowly observed my surroundings.  Tables were lined up in rows, a reminder of being in a school cafeteria.  At first, things seemed to be normal.  I was not quite sure where I was.  The room was filled with people of all kinds.  Following the flow of the others, I sat down at one of the tables.  No one seemed to notice me.  Everyone was smiling and talking; the chatter was very loud.  Suddenly, I felt something strange in my mouth.  It felt grainy, but soft and squishy, like oatmeal that has been cooked too long.  The taste seemed to not exist, but I knew I did not want this in my mouth.  I spat it out on the floor. It was a light shade of brown, and almost looked like chewed up cornflakes, held together with gooey snot.  To my surprise, more of this substance developed in my mouth.  I spit it out again, and again, and again.  I glanced up to see everyone else in the room doing the same thing.  Thoughts rushed through my mind, trying to figure out what was going on.  The substance began to change form, turning from a flaky substance into goo, and began to slowly move.  It became clear that this was some form of life.  I watched in shock as it slowly grew to what looked like a brown slug, and then a long brown snake!  I felt like I was in some strange Dr. Who show, "The Invasion of the Satan Parasite!"  Snake like creatures were everywhere, and soon, the beings were growing so quickly, we were all vomiting these disgusting things fully formed!  We, ourselves, started to look like the Ood!  Was this the end for me?  Would I die?
Suddenly, I awoke to realize it was just a dream.  I was in shock, and questioned where that idea had come from!  I think I should take a break from watching science fiction shows for a bit.  
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Juice
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