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Music Monday – The Third Day Soul on Fire Tour

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Photo Credit: Lott Shudde, http://www.thirdday.com

 

Powerful. I went to a Third Day concert Saturday and it can hardly be categorized as a “show.”  Yes, the band performed but what they performed was heart and soul surgery. We were led. We were led to The Throne and sent forth to continue the worship in our lives. The album is Lead Us Back and the tour is Soul on Fire and if you don’t get to any other concerts this year, do try to make this one.  I would feel this way even if I weren’t already a Third Day fan. I went to this particular concert to meet up with almost 70 other fans (the Gomer Family) for pre and post-show gatherings and we had joked about how nice it was of Third Day to provide a concert for our party.  I thought I was going to serve cake and meet up with friends I seldom see in person but have been blessed to get to know and love.

What I found out was I was there for conviction. We have struggles here at the Fecher abode, just like everyone else. Sometimes we need slapped upside the head by the Spirit.  God bless Third Day for their anointed ability to slap people upside the head through their music. Your Words, Our Deliverer, Victorious – powerful.  Worship is a verb, a frame of mind and a lifestyle. It’s music like that found on the new album that challenges us to look inside ourselves and take inventory of what’s missing and what’s there that shouldn’t be.  I was prepped before attending this concert that this would not be like the typical rock-your-face shows that we are used to. I was expecting “mellow.”  Mellow is not the word.  Nope, nope, nope. Powerful is the word.  Lead Us Back is their first worship album since Offerings 2 in 2003. I hope they won’t wait that long til the next one.  Music speaks to us in ways nothing else can. Sometimes it’s fun, silly, beautiful, obnoxious, danceable, etc. but something we need a regular dose of in our music intake is, in case you missed it, powerful worship.

Get thee to a show: Third Day Tour Schedule

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What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

 

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Music Monday – Lead Us Back

March 3rd. March 3rd. March 3rd. Lead Us Back, Third Day’s newest album is out MARCH THIRD!

Now, repeat it back. What day does Lead Us Back release? This is just review. There will be a test. If you are new here, I really, really love Third Day.

We were able to preorder ours awhile back and…..IT JUST CAME IN THE MAIL TODAY!!! WOOHOO!! I started writing this post before we received this so timing couldn’t be more perfect!

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We were also able to sing along with the first single, Soul on Fire, at a concert this fall before it’s release and it had me hooked from the first listen. It’s like a rally cry between myself and God and it comes with the attitude that the victory has already been won and I have the confidence that I WILL be a soul on fire.

The members of Third Day do seem to “get it” and by “it,” I mean the battle is won. It just so happens that “Victorious” is another song from the new album and “Victory” is on the “Miracle” CD.

I can’t help it; I wish Soul on Fire had come out before “Catching Fire.” It would have been an amazing theme song for Katniss. Can’t you see it? No? Okay, so load this video but don’t play it, yet, and turn the Youtube volume all the way down:

Okay, now load this Soundcloud:

Play the Soundcloud then start the video.

Am I right? Just sayin’.

Yes, I sometimes play around too much….I’m tho thilly.

Here’s the OFFICIAL Soul on Fire Lyric Video:

And Victorious:

I’m listening to the CD as I type and I have goosebumps.

And here’s where to preorder your Lead Us Back CD or CD Bundle (click that yellow tab with the plus sign down on the bottom right):

https://www.thirdday.com/home

Looking forward to seeing them next month! They are amazing live and we get to meet up with precious friends we’ve met through this awesomesauce band.  A Third Day concert isn’t just a show; it’s worship and a taste of Heaven. I hope you’ll join me during this Soul on Fire Tour as we worship together as we “Run to His heart till we are souls on fire!”

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Music Monday – That Old Wheel

Yes, I’m still here. I continue to do that “thing” where I tell myself I’m going to reward a finished to-do list with sit-down-with-my-blog time. Yea…right…12 kids, 3 grandbabies, catering business, homeschool, laundry.  In light of the fact that I still have taxes to prep, I’ve decided that if I’m ever going to post again, I better sit down and do it then get on the list. Everything important eventually gets done and the things that don’t get done are the things that never get finished anyways. That being said, I’ve had A LOT on my mind! I could have 50 posts since the last one if writing was my job. I’ll get there…I won’t give up!

On my mind, recently, have been a few peeps who either are deliberately trying to hurt me or are carelessly and/or selfishly wounding my family and I. An ongoing struggle has been a family member that I sincerely wish would be involved with my children and myself but has spent years making excuses then blaming me that we don’t spend time together.  There’s more to it but suffice it to say, it hurts, it’s frustrating and I’m about fed up.

Others on my mind are some folks who I once thought friends but, because they believed the gossip of others without ever contacting me to confirm that what they were hearing is true, decided I was unworthy and “don’t pay me no mind anymore.”

Finally, I am a business owner. I own a catering and custom cake design business with my family. We have worked hard to create a legitimate food service industry business. There’s a whole other blog post on what that entails but for this one, being attacked by another for no other reason than we’re competition is aggravating. The quality of my product has been questioned and even lied about and it’s been implied that I and others in the business have been trying to sabotage this person who has a reputation for playing dirty.  The other thing about me is I try to be a nice person! I don’t “get” people who aren’t nice to others. And when they come after my family or me just because they’re mean, I kinda want to get mean back.

So these situations have been popping around in my head like popcorn and my thoughts have not been passing the Philippians 4:8 test, I can tell you that. Last week, as I was running errands and running amuck, I popped in a cd I haven’t listened to in a while, Jason Hoard’s The Road Ahead.

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That Old Wheel came on and I had to listen to it over and over again (there’s kind of pun there – if you listen to the song, you’ll get it.) This album was released in 2011 and That Old Wheel was originally performed by Johnny Cash and Hank Williams Jr., so it’s  certainly not new but this song in particular was just a friendly reminder to hang in there; what comes around goes around. The lyrics don’t mention it but it reminded me, also, to “do unto others as I would have them do unto me” and “do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Tsk, tsk….anyone who knows us knows that we’re some of God’s favorites so I feel somewhat sorry for those who want to muck with us.

I’m going to keep hanging in there and keep my chin up. For every person who wants to see me down, there are a bunch more who keep me up and I want to do the same for them. I’m going to try to remember to focus on those friends and family instead how low those “other” people can make me feel.  I hope you will hang in there with me.

Click on the album pic for the I-tunes link. You won’t be disappointed!

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Music Monday – Skillet, Columbus, Ohio

I saw Skillet for the second time last Friday. Mind. Blown. I took photos so am posting some because some of us people like concert pics. I have more but this is all I had time to edit. Enjoy if you are a Skillet fan!

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If you enjoy melt-your-face, palate-cleansing rock and have not heard Skillet, DO check them out at http://www.skillet.com/ and get your bum to a show. Crazy awesome!

Yea, I know, I haven’t been posting…again…taxes, working backstage for a play, being a theatre mom, homeschooling,  trying to keep a business afloat and being too dang tired to stay up and blog. I haven’t forgotten that I have a blog.

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle, the Zookeeper

How To Not Blog

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If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you’ve probably forgotten that you were doing so as I haven’t posted in eons. I have come close to giving up many times and just deactivate the account. BUT, there is something very motivational about investing dough in having my own domain. Also…I REALLY love to write.  However, being an inactive blogger, I can now offer my expertise on how to overcome the need to write and, maybe, even lose interest in writing:

  1. Never read any other blogs. There are so many gifted bloggers out there, you may receive encouragement or inspiration to write from them so, whatever you do, don’t read other blogs.
  2. Don’t read books. Duh. For the same reason listed above. Readers are leaders and leaders tend to WRITE STUFF DOWN! Spare yourself. The solution for the temptation to read is to keep a to-do list so huge that you’re constantly exhausted and fall asleep every time you start to read…anything. I’ve made a habit of this and it really works!
  3. Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT read the Bible. Being that it changes you, convicts you and confounds you, it will compel you to write stuff that may benefit others…or just really annoy others which will also a boost your enjoyment of blogging.
  4. Avoid contact with your children and do your best to not enjoy their company. Especially if they have changed your life for the better, are beautiful people, are geniuses, are adorable, and/or are hilarious.
  5. Do not become a foodie. The thing about foodies is that they not only enjoy food but they enjoy the effect food has on everyone else. That is why they have this compulsion to take 23 photos with commentary of the one recipe they have to share with the world because they know that the world will not be the same until at least 28% of the world’s population have tried, what they know is, the best recipe for Macaroni and Cheese.
  6. Write off writing. This is a problem if you homeschool or teach writing in any capacity because there is something contagious about writing assignments. Just reading a kid’s book report can cause an irritating itch to write something. Writing a thank you card or even a tweet has been known to trigger an irrational urge to write more. Sometimes, 140 characters are not enough. Writing anything is like practice and practice makes…well, you know. And whatever you do, DON’T read about writing! You’ll just be shooting yourself in the foot.
  7. Don’t make memories with family or friends. They are precious and you’ll want to preserve them by keeping photos and journaling.  Celebrating any type of birthday or holiday would fall under this category. 
  8. Turn off the radio and get rid of your I-pod. I call music “the rhythm of the soul.” It touches places within us in a way nothing else can. Of course, that would be counter-productive for one trying to shake the addiction to writing as listening to music will bring to light things from within that will move you and move others should you feel constrained to write about the things that move you. Music has access to our love, anger, sadness, joy, dance, courage, fear, betrayals, loyalties and worship that absolutely nothing else has. You know what else happens if you listen to music? You develop favoritism for types of music and the artists that God has endowed with this aggravating gift then you attend a concert or two which creates and appetite for more and a devotion and desire to show your support and an unexplainable need to take way too many photos at said concerts then you find out other fans (as well as the artists) love concert and gathering pics so you feel obligated to get them posted so others can enjoy them and, well, you can see how this can be a problem.
  9. Don’t own a business. Being a business owner just offers way too much material for writing. You meet so many interesting and amazing people, you have a plethora of problems, and have way too many adventures. You don’t need this in your life if you’re trying to stop writing.
  10. Don’t be clever. Creative people come up with all kinds of DIY projects, home improvements ideas, organization tips, etc. It’s really hard to not share ideas that someone else could use. You take a pic of some brainchild you come up with, the next thing you know, you’re posting it on Facebook and someone asks how you made it which encourages a how-to blog post and the next thing you know, it’s all over Pinterest which makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and you are encouraged to post again. Subdue the urge to be artsy fartsy. There are plenty of other people out there with…shudder..ideas.
  11. Lose the camera. Just don’t get into photography. I’ve already addressed this in other areas but you’ve seen the blogs and websites. People who take pictures can’t just leave them there on the memory card. What’s not shared is lost, remember? So just stop taking pictures. Nuff said.
  12. I mentioned being tired before but I cannot emphasize enough the importance of being overcommitted and exhausted. It helps if you don’t have a regular routine that includes time to write. If you simply hope that when you sit down at the end of the day, you can jot down a few words to post before your eyes clamp shut, then you have a great formula for successful avoidance of blogging.
  13. Procrastinate. This is THE sure-fire method for making sure writing doesn’t happen. It’s self-explanatory. Acquire this skill if you lack it.

I have some of the items on this list down-pat. I have too much to do; my to-do list is never done. I get up early and stay up late. I’m always tired. Oh, and I DO have the spiritual gift of procrastination.  I know there are things I need to change so I can stop writing; I need to sell the business but that event alone, should it occur, would still provide writing fodder. We should have never started it in the first place. It’s made life way too interesting. I either need to put the kids up for adoption or hunker down for the years to come but, darn it, I have grandkids. Maybe I should just become a hermit. But then boredom might be a issue. Bored people look for something to do and the mind might wander to then thought may occur that I could write about where my mind wandered.  Then there’s the food…darn it, I love food. I love cooking food and eating food.

I’m in such a quandary! This writing thing is a pesky problem.  Any suggestions are appreciated. This time-consuming addiction has got to stop.

My name is Michelle and I haven’t blogged since…. October 16, 2013.

This one doesn’t count, right?

Music Monday – Friend Fest 2013

WOOHOO!!! Friend Fest at Amish Acres in Nappanee, IN is awesomesauce! I know there are LOTS of music festivals out there but the folks at WFRN did their homework and have created the most family-friendly Christian music event I have been to or read about.  That this was just their second year is even more impressive. “What makes it so family-friendly?” you are wondering (I just know you are). Money, for one thing. Families want to take their families to worship with these A-MA-ZING bands but not everyone can afford all that a music festival entails, especially big families. You are usually nickeled and dimed for any and all amenities.

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First, the biggie for us was food, if you want to call that an amenity. Friend Fest allows food to be brought in! I’ve not been to a festival that allowed you to bring food in.  A friend just informed this weekend that another popular festival recently banned even eating in the parking lot. Say wha? No tailgating? Good grief…  Food was available for purchase at Friend Fest, there was a water tent at the back of the field (only a buck a bottle!), snow cones and ice cream on a hot day were perfect (they even had vendors walking through the crowd selling ice cream out of a cooler). There was no lack of sweet, cold stuff. BUT we brought 9 kids with us.  Purchasing food for 11 people is not cheap…even when buying cheap food. It adds up, dontcha know?  We were able to keep our crew hydrated and nourished all day without paying out the wazoo. That we didn’t purchase food from Amish Acres didn’t seem to hurt their business; the food lines stayed busy and we saw plenty of folks munching on their yums.  Meanwhile, our clan kept busy snacking on Capri Suns, strawberries, Cloud Cakes and a variety of other items we rarely indulge in then we dined on Pulled BBQ Pork, BBQ Beans and Sweet n Sour Broccoli Slaw. It’s nice having catering equipment to keep our vittles hot. 🙂 Did we make folks around us jealous? Maybe just a little. 🙂 That being said, we saved a fortune!

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Secondly, there was no additional charge for the Kids Zone. There was even a Children’s Stage that featured juggling, an illusionist, illusions, music, puppetry and clowning around. Of course, the Bounc House area is a kid’s favorite part of the festival. I was a little disturbed, though, by the Gator Hide-and-Slide. The kids climb up into the gator’s mouth,

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bounce around inside

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then come out the back end.

When I went to take pics of my lovely children exiting the inflatable reptile, I didn’t find a slide as expected, I found a slit. I said, “Oh, unt uh…” Craig said, “Yep. That’s where they come out.” No no no…that’s messed up. I told my Lenae that the designer of said gator must not have liked kids. She quickly replied, “Or really likes them and knows how kids think. What kid wouldn’t love to say they were pooped out of an alligator?” She has a point.

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Thirdly, free parking. Nuff said.

Fourthly, the Coffee House Stage. If you had attended Friend Fest and  wanted to hear some other musicians and Break-Out Sessions with some of the Main Stage artists while using the, again, FREE Wi-Fi and drinking your gourmet coffee, this was the place for you.

#5 The Venue: Amish Acres is a fantastic location for an event like this! It’s clean, it’s lovely, it’s big! It’s also just 5 minutes away from Play-Mor Campground which means a lot to those of us who prefer “roughing it” in an air-conditioned camper.  Primitive camping is available at Fountain Acres but that’s not roughing it to me. That’s dying a slow death of humidity and allergies. The only thing I would change is placing a canopy section in the rear for those who don’t want to melt especially those with children, “older” folks and those wearing walking casts whose legs get over heated…not that I know anyone like that.

Observe the hot children covered in 3 bottles of sunblock.

Observe the hot children covered in 3 bottles of sunblock.

Sixthly, yes there’s more…The staff and volunteers were incredible friendly from the time you pull in to park. Some of the crazy antics of those directing parking had us smiling from ear to ear. Everyone was eager to assist, hospitable and, you could tell, happy to be there serving.

SEVEN: stewardship.  I was tickled to read the following in the program: “It takes 3-4 years for a festival of this magnitude to sustain itself. Currently, ticket sales, sponsors and partners cover just 80% of the festival’s total expenses. We are almost there, yet it is still not quite enough.” 80% and it’s just the second year! They accomplished this without charging for parking, the Kids Zone, and every other little thing and without forcing folks to purchase their food. Kudos! As soon as I’m able, I hope to become a Friend Fest Partner. We need to sell more cheesecake.

Eight: Enough space for Ultimate Frisbee. The kids did mention that Frisbee to Building 429 made them feel like they were in a movie or a music video, LOL! They rawked, incidentally.

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Nine: Friends. We drove 4 hours from home and ran into several friends. Many hugs were shared and, of course, Frisbee.  It really was a Friend Fest! (Cheesy, I know).

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And last, but not least, the music.  We went Friday to see some of our favorites: Carrollton, Rhett Walker Band, For King and Country, Big Daddy Weave, Building 429 and Matthew West. If we had gone Saturday, we would have enjoyed OBB, Hyland, Moriah Peters, Finding Favour, Chris August, Kari Jobe, Jamie Grace, the Peter Furler Band and TobyMac. We opted for some R&R with the kiddos at the campground. That aside, the weekend held a high-caliber line-up that did not disappoint. I CANNOT wait to hear next year’s line-up!!!

(What? No pics from the bands?! That’s another post….;) )

www.WFRNFriendFest.com

Have you been to a music festival that was as family/pocketbook-friendly as this one? Let us all know!

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

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Music Monday – When Mercy Found Me by the Rhett Walker Band

There’s really no need for commentary here but I have some anyway. This song chokes me up. Anyone who has been found chokes up when they hear it. If you claim to be a Christian and you don’t choke up when you hear this song, I seriously question if you have wrapped your brain around grace. Just sayin’.

I wear out this song out because it reminds me that even though Mercy found me, I will manage to lose myself in my bad habits, my worries, loneliness, temptations and fears again and again. When I do, I have the comfort of knowing that Mercy knows where to find me even if I don’t and, though it’s stupid to ever leave Jesus arms, they’re ALWAYS open, ready and waiting for me when I’m prone to wander. I know that’s not necessarily what Mr. Walker wrote into this song but it’s what I take with me. Here’s the story behind the song:

Here’s the song. Even if you know it, read the lyrics again…and get choked up:

Did I mention I wear this song out? Heck, I wear out the whole CD.  Rhett has an intense voice and style, the band has great synergy and there’s not a song on Come To The River that I don’t love. I own so many CDs that I skip around to hear my favorites but not this one; it’s played straight through then started over again.

I cannot wait to see the Rhett Walker Band in concert again! If you’re not a Certified Rhettneck, yet, you need to get on the bandwagon!

http://rhettwalkerband.com/

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Music Monday – The Last Bison/ Switzerland

I’ve been expanding my musical horizons over the past year or two. Partly due to the fact that when we opened our catering kitchen, we discovered that we had G101.3 parked, pretty much, in our backyard and we rarely can get anything else in on our little radio/I-home. For years, I’ve stuck pretty much to Christian music (especially, of course, my all-time favorite band Third Day, duh), which isn’t a bad thing at all. There’s a lot of crappy music “out there.” On the other hand, there are some amazing musicians in this world  that aren’t in the Christian music genre and they are worth listening to. My horizons have also been expanded by friends who are music aficionados like my friend Brian who has a pretty nifty music blog over at Something For Your Ear Hole which is where I was introduced to Bison. Besides being a great read, Brian has an ear for great music and shares his opinions of the good, bad and ugly with honesty and wit.  That being said, thanks for providing new and interesting waters to dip our feet in (as well as warning us of dangerous or boring waters to avoid). Back to The Last Bison; their website describes their style as “… an alternative folk band that refers to their music as Folk-chestral! Their spiritual and lyrical strength combines with authentic rootsy hooks that keep you singing along. Switzerland is the first song on the band’s debut album titled Quill.”
Without further adieu, I have been enjoying Switzerland immensely!
 
 
Let me know what you think – unless you don’t like this then go tell someone else because you, obviously, don’t have very good taste in music.
 
What’s not shared is lost,
Michelle

Third Day 20th Anniversary Cake Part 3

Several folks had asked for close up shots  and pics of us making this cake via Facebook and Twitter so that’s why I’m taking the time to journal the making of said cake with more detail than I usually would. It was an especially fun cake to do so I don’t mind a bit. Having several family members contribute to the creation of this edible work of art makes the memory worth keeping so I’m happy to “scrapbook” this here. I have a lot of pics so I’m not going to try to put it all in one post – you have stuff to do and other blogs to read.

If you missed it, visit Part 1 and Part 2 then you’ll be caught up to speed.

First of all, we had to make Cake Pops for some Gomers who have heard about them and have seen our photos of them. We also like to take some for Lott, the tour manager, as he seems to like them quite a bit. If he’s just faking it for our  sake, he’s doing a good job. We’ve learned that the band doesn’t usually get the treats folks bring them (bummer since that’s one of our “love languages!”) but Lott acts like he’s going to steal them when we bring them. SO, we gave him his own and the band got stuck with cake.

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I forgot to include the cake board when I started this. One of our signature elements: folks get a kick out of serving out cake to discover a message or picture hiding beneath. I was hoping to use the Come Together symbol with a photo but ran into technical difficulties and didn’t have time to make it happen.

 Back to the drum: Before I took a good look at what instruments we’d be putting on the cake, I purchased Opalescent spray for that “sparkly drum” look. THEN, I asked for help from Gomers for good pics and did my homework. The realization that David Carr’s Craviotto Drums are wood grain left me wondering what the heck I was going to make sparkly cuz I was bound and determined to use my spray paint! Darn.

I went to work on the last of the hardware attaching pieces with Piping Gel. Jillian and the small fries had already made the smaller pieces so it was a “simple” matter of assembly and painting. Cakes can be so….stupid. Sometimes,  I swear they’re living, breathing, evil creatures just waiting for us humans to try to shape them into something fabulous but they decide to be “in control” and rebel against their maker!!! Okay, I’ll calm down. Enough of that…stupid cake.

I made a couple of shades of vodka paint with brown icing color for the wood grain. Icing color tends to deepen or darken as it dries so I kept working with the colors trying to get them to match David’s drums expecting the paint to act like icing. It doesn’t work the same, I found. I made a vodka paint with luster dust  and used that Opalescent spray for the hardware. I tried the sliver metallic spray and was not happy with the results. I’ve used the gold before and that looks great but the silver looked blue.  Luster dust for silver. Write that down.

This was where we stopped on the cake on Wednesday, May 16. We loaded the layers in a Cambro carrier with he exception of the 14″ bottom layer which didn’t fit so it was placed on top of the carrier. Each layer was placed on a piece of foam covered with a “grip mat” and the cakes survived the trip with minimal damage. Some pieces slid out of place but I was thrilled that we drove a cake from Indiana to North Carolina and they made it! Our first long-distance delivery. Yay!

Thanks for taking a gander!

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Fird Day

My 3 y.o. looking at my desktop  Third Day pic: “Oh, dat’s Fird Day. Dat’s da guitar guy (Mark Lee), dat’s the deer da deer guy (Tai Anderson) (the sound he makes for bass when Make Your Move comes on), dat’s da drumming guy (David Carr) ,dat’s da sing-song guy (Mac Powell) . You and daddy sit in the seat cuz if U stand on da stage, Third Day (fird day) will squish U.” Be afraid, be very afraid. How cool is it he knows who’s who? Not sure of the stage-violence logic, though…..