Saturday, October 11, 2014

Day 151: Fall Cleaning

The weather has changed and as much as I love Summer, I have to say, this chillier weather and gorgeous foliage is at least making the transition easier!  Someone posted about fall being God's grand finale of  nature!  And it truly is as if the trees have been saving up all summer for their last great outburst of gorgeousness!  

Along with this fall, came some heavy duty cleaning time for me!  I decided to finally tackle that one room of doom!  (Humor me here, and at least pretend you have one of those "areas" in your house that has become the junk drawer/pile/corner/closet catch all-I'll deal with it later, etc. )  You know, the one that is always on your to-do list, yet never seems to make it off the list.  Well, I tackled one teeny, tiny portion of the task today--a file cabinet!  It was a simple, 4 drawer cabinet that turned into an overwhelming 4 hour endeavor!!!  I'm not even kidding and when I realized I had been sifting through files and files and papers and envelopes for 4 hours......making a destroy pile and a recycle pile- it was the numbness I felt in my fingers that kind of weird-ed me out.  I mean, I didn't think your fingers could go numb.  What sort of repetitive movement could cause that?  Oh well.  I had finished and so I stopped and thankfully, the odd numbness went away shortly after, so it wasn't any big deal.  But--the thing about purging and organizing is that not only is it a huge stress reliever to sit back and admire a job well done, but it is also quite a little trip down memory lane when you filter through years and years worth of documents!  You find yourself chronicling your life in the process.  And I have to say, I came across a handwritten note that my father had written.  Hmmm  Hmmmm Hmmmm!!!  I miss him so and just seeing his handwriting brought tears to my eyes but I am so thankful that he was a list maker (like myself) because it was so heart warming to read several notes and lists that he had made......just months before he died.  He was such a planner and I admire that about him.  I adore that he wouldn't leave it any other way.  He was very sick and I know he was not up to making lengthy writings at the time he wrote these treasures, but he still did it.  He still maintained his impeccable level of responsibility, right up to the very end.  And I'm so thankful that I still have these morsels of him left to cherish.  It reminds me of where I came from.  It affirms the man he was and in a world that has evolved to where handwriting is a dying art, in a world of emails, texts and computer generated communications, it is still so nice to see genuine handwriting, especially of ones you love because you can hear them speaking the words when you read over it and it touches your heart to see their undeniably recognizable style of writing! 

And then I came across another note.   This one left me balling.  I know I've seen it before and it gets me every time I read it.  It was a note he was penning for his sabbatical.  In retrospect, I believe he knew he was nearing the end of his life and so he applied for a sabbatical from the University to do research.  He was just taking off one semester, but I think he hoped to get his affairs in order as well as continue his professional work with what little time he had left.  (When I read of the Randy Pausch story--I felt they had such similar personalities and attitudes towards their diagnosis.  Both great men and excellent role models for others)  This was a Randy Paush style act to write this note.  From the note, it was evident that my father had received some sort of communication requesting an update on the status of his research.  He was a man of impeccable integrity and he was also a pioneer in his field.  I was humbled reading what he wrote to the Dean of his department.  Here he was, within the last 3 months of his life, and he was still plugging away at one of his passions-work.  He was still giving it his all.  He was genuinely pushing forward with technological advances and analyzing them while always seeking to learn and do more. And he wouldn't have done it any other way.   I mean, he wouldn't have ended his journey here on earth any differently than he lived it.  He was a go hard or go home type A personality. He didn't do anything half way.  I see so much of myself in him and it tickles me to have that connection.  I am still so proud of my father!  Of the man that he was and the way that he lived.  He was the best example I could have ever asked for in an earthly father.  Flaws and all--I wouldn't change one thing about him.  He wasn't perfect-but he was perfectly loving and he was perfect for me.  My love, my rock, my all! <3   My friend, who is a professional organizer would be happy to know I tackled this task today.....and God smiled down with a little blessing tucked inside of it!  Like a gorgeous leaf hand picked just for me! :)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Day 150: Things that Make Ya' Go Hmmmm......or dare I say "rant" ;)

Today I have this personal post to share.....I won't call it a "rant" ;)  because that just doesn't suit my personality,  but it just so happens that our state has released test scores recently and I stumbled upon this post about testing through social media, and well......I have something to say about the whole deal-i-o!

Chuckle if you know me--because I'm the most positive person around--but even I can get a little discouraged, even downright confused over the test scores and what we can take from them!  It's a PRISM really!  You can look at it one way and see some very positive aspects, then you look from another angle and it can be so disheartening, considering how HARD educators work!   Desiring better results for our kids and seeing such huge personal/individual gains and having them not translate to amazing rankings, and results through the Dept. of Ed.'s accountability system is a difficult pill to swallow! (There.  I. said. it.)

So here's my "share" for the day!  Consider it a public service announcement (of sorts!) ;)  And I'm SUPER PROUD of the high performing schools in our district and area!  KUDOS to all!  It takes a village and it is remarkable to hear of the progress all around the state and nation.   My youngest child's elementary school had a personal boost of 10 points last year and this year, they maintained but didn't have the continued, bigger increase they were hoping for.  I don't focus on a number or a score and there's a reason why--testing is one measure.  I see the whole child, all day, every day.  I see REAL gains, progress, improvements in both behavior and maturity and a million other areas in between,  I see emotional issues and sometimes spiritual growth.  I see things that may always and may never show up on a standardized test.  So, while it is one measure--it is also just one measure.  :)

And that brings me to this post.  This struck a chord with me, so I share this, not to bash any particular publisher (Pearson, in this case, shhhh!) but to point out that we ALL make mistakes and there is so much VALUE in teaching students to THINK, PERSEVERE, PROBLEM SOLVE, QUESTION, and be CONFIDENT and COMFORTABLE that your method of solving may differ from others, but it can still be ACCURATE!  We have to increase our children's abilities to problem solve with tenacity and create life-long learners with a growth mindset!  My dad used to call this the "margin of error"  and INvalidity of tests, and he always graded his University students' tests (he had a PhD in Computer Science & Engineering and was a pioneer in Technology in his day!) with this margin of error (or %age) in their favor.  Granted, it can go both ways and anyone who has ever graded papers can attest to mistakenly giving a correct mark on an inaccurate response, but this margin of error covers it all.   Bottom line:  be real, be flexible, be able to see the forest for the trees--REAL LEARNING is what matters, not a score on a test!  Many learn AFTER the test--and what matters is the's crossing that finish line of mastery, not the time it took you to get there!

Ok so what's the article, you might ask.  It's this:
errors on the test and why it matters in today's high stakes testing era

and it basically outlines how ANY company/publisher can have ERRORS.   Yes, you read that correctly.  ERRORS.  No big E right?  Well, that is all in how you view it, deal with it, and APPLY it to life! There. My $.02 for the day! Rant. Over. (Well, is she calling it a rant now? ;)  Said in my best Jim Gaffigan's audience-heckler-lady voice! :)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Day 149: Dementia and Alzheimer's post

Even if you have't fallen in love with the movie, The Notebook, you've probably learned about Alzheimer's and Dementia through various sources.  Well this post is an honorary one.  It honors ALL who've been affected by either disease and it honors a very special woman that I've known who has passed away with both of these debilitating illnesses.  Education is priority and COMPASSION is essential!  So here's to all who suffer or will suffer at some point in their lives with either of these illnesses.

The compassion and LOVE is beautifully expressed and witnessed!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Day 148: Thankful for Technology

Technology gets a bad rap sometimes.   But honestly, it's super amazing!  I mean,come on......without it we wouldn't have the vast social media that we have today.  And I probably wouldn't be in my 40s staying connected to friends I had in college (or even childhood) without it.  SO for that, I am grateful!!  I often think of how much technological advances have really impacted my life and I am just.......thankful! Just tonight, I was  blogging about my students' latest Science experiment, and with in minutes, I had posts from college friends on similar experiences.  It's amazing!  One thing I remember my father he was a fore-father of technology......was that it had infinite possibilities.  I love that.  Knowing the possibilities are endless.  Knowing that we can evolve and grow and change and learn and advance to limitless points.  That in itself, is pretty awesome.  Then you add in intellect, and the basic desires of humans to  move forward and do things bigger, better, faster, stronger, :)  well, and then you get the picture!   So tonight's post is to TECHNOLOGY!!!  How much we love it.  How much we NEED it.  And how much we USE it in life!!!  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Day 147: Power of Positvity

So this video went around social media a few years ago.....this precious little girl may be a teenager by now, but her message is still going strong!  And it's worthy of a share or re-share.....or two!  If we could all have this outlook on life......every day!  :)  May it be an inspiration to you, as it was and still is, to me!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Day 146: TRUST

This post is a devotion of TRUST!  I trust the Lord and it's a little bittersweet because our son is going off to college this week.  We are so excited and proud of him and know he will have an amazing experience in college,but......we are definitely going to miss the presence of his humor and spirit in our home!  This week is going to be .....well..... a transition, for sure!

I came across this wonderful post about TRUST which I want to share.  I also came across this adorable dog party video that I want to include in the same I will try to add them both.

What I have realized, is that I must TRUST God that we've raised our son to be prepared to make this adjustment in his life!  That is  HUGE task, but I must TRUST that we've raised him to the best of our ability and he's ready to embark on this next chapter in his life!   We are so happy for him to start his collegiate experience, and we are also happy that he will move forward with God at the center of his life!  
 We also are reflecting on  how much JOY we've had in  raising him this far.  That brings me to my next post, the Dog Party!!  One of his favorite books when he was a tot, was Go, Dog, Go!  It was so much fun reading this book to him and every time, when I came to the part of the book where the Dog Party happened, he would get so excited with anticipation of all the fun the dogs would have at the "dog party"......well this video depicts my image of the dog party quite well. 
So-- for all the parents who are sending their children off to college this fall......I pray for you and your child to have an amazing adventure!  I pray that they will enjoy their new experience and that God will keep them protected and guided through the whole experience!  I also pray that God will comfort parents through this transition, so that it maybe one of celebration of progression and less of sadness over missing their child.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Day 145: Give and you shall receive

This post comes about from a couple of things that happened this week that made me realize coincidence is not quite the word for what I was noticing.  God's work would be a better term.   So here goes--

Sharing a post from my friend, Kelly  (because apparently, she doesn't have this "share" feature turned on in her settings!)  but this is a good post, and it deserves a "share" 
From Kelly:  In the car today I heard something on the radio that was so inspirational I had to share. I only caught a little bit and after stopping for gas, the show was over so I’m not even sure which NPR program it was…if I find the source, I will post.
The show was about changing other peoples’ lives. I was only half listening at first because it didn’t seem to relate to me. I’m not Oprah or Ellen, who can pay someone’s college tuition or buy someone a car so they can drive to a new job…
But the more I listened to the examples, the more I realized that I have changed lives, and I’m sure you have as well.
Have you introduced two friends that you thought had a lot in common and they married? Yep. I’ve done that more than once.
Have you recommended someone for a job because you knew they were perfect for it and they have been happily employed ever since? Why yes, more than once.
Have you made a phone call that could change a life? Found the right person to help a friend? I bet you have.
Have you helped someone give up destructive habits? Drinking, drugs, or other poor choices? Definitely life-saving.
Have you mentored a young person? Encouraged them to go farther in their education, making the difference in a career path that could affect their family for generations? What a powerful gift!
Have you listened to someone who might be at the end of his or her rope? Encouraged someone with a kind word or spelled an overworked caretaker? No telling how much you helped
I have. You have. This show reminded me that we can all do incredible things. Connecting, encouraging, listening, doing. Some of these things take nothing more than picking up the phone, proffering a name…some take more of a commitment. But one thing I know, each time I have extended myself for someone, I have received as much or more in return. Today I am reminded to look around for those opportunities. If we truly listen to people and ask ourselves if there is something we can do to help, the chance to change a life can be found wherever you may be. I am sorry for the times I have overlooked the opportunities to help and for those who have made a difference in my life…thank you. xoxoxo KB
From me:  And this brings me to my own, personal "full circle" moment and post. This week, my daughters started back to school and received flowers on the first day from their Aunt. It truly made their day and when I thanked her for the act of kindness, she said "well, I remembered how you used to send me flowers at school and it made me realize I wanted to pass on the tradition with my nieces"
Luke 6:38 - Give, and it shall be given unto you; For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Happy Friday!!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Day 144: The Last Lecture

Our son just graduated from high school.  I bought him this book as a gift and then I ended up reading it this afternoon.  It was beyond being on my book bucket list.  Enjoy~

 I've read my first book of summer 2014: One of my son's graduation gifts and I can tell you.....this man was a favorite of mine years ago when I saw him on Oprah. He inspired me then, and his book inspires me still! I've got to share my top takeaways from reading his book, The Last Lecture! So here goes: 50 life lessons from Randy Pausch! A Carnegie Mellon professor who died of pancreatic cancer in 2008, leaving behind a wife and 3 small children.

1-I quote my father almost every day. Part of it is because if you dispense your own wisdom, others often dismiss it; if you offer wisdom from a third party, it seems less arrogant and more acceptable. Of course when you have someone like my dad in your back pocket, you can’t help yourself. You quote him every chance you get. My dad gave me advice on how to negotiate my way through life. He’d say things like “never made a decision until you have to”. And he’d warn me of being in positions of strength, “just because you’re in the driver’s seat, doesn't mean you have to run people over”.
2-When you see yourself doing something badly and nobody’s bothering to tell you anymore, that’s a bad place to be. You may not want to hear it, but your critics are often the ones telling you they still love you and care about you and want to make you better. There’s a lot of talk today about “self-esteem”. It’s really not something you give, it must be earned. Give them something they can’t do, and they work hard until they can do it.
3-There’s 2 kinds of head fakes. The ones where you want someone to think you’re going one way and you’re really going another. The other is when you want to teach something and they think you’re teaching something else. It teaches people things they don’t realize they’re learning until well into the process. That’s the crucial one.
4-Don’t believe in the no-win scenario. As much as possible, keep the faith!
5-People are more important than things. I can’t emphasize this one enough. Too many people get caught up in “worldly” things. You can’t take it with you comes to mind. You can’t. So why mess up feelings over material things. Don’t. Just don’t.
6-The brick walls in life are there to stop people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there for a reason. They give us a chance to show us how badly we want something.
7-Not everything needs to be fixed. Cars are meant to get you from point A to point B. Not a status symbol.
8-Keep the attitude, let’s saddle up and ride. Things won’t always go your way, but don’t succumb to complaining, feeling sorry for yourself or whining. Deal and go one.
9-Humility- it really says a lot. Humility speaks volumes.
10-You can’t die. You have to live. Well, it turns out, you already have. Let that be your legacy.
11- Time must be explicitly managed, like money.
12-You can always change your plan, but only if you have one.
13-Ask yourself, are you spending the your time on the right things?
14-Develop a good filing system
15-Rethink the telephone.
17- Take a time out. Time is all you have. And you may find out one day, you have less than you think.
18-We need real, accurate, timely feedback in order to grow.
19-Pay it forward. Wherever you are today, someone helped you get there. Be giving and pay it forward.
20-The greatest reward may be in enabling the dreams of others
21-Dream big
22- Don’t complain, just work harder
23-Treat the disease, not the symptom
24- Don’t obsess over what people think
25-Meet people properly. Learn names
26- Find things you have in common
27-Try for optimal meeting conditions
28- Let everyone talk
29- Check egos at the door
30-Praise each other
31- Phrase alternatives as a question
32-Look for the best in everybody
33- Watch what they do, not what they say
34-Dance with the one who brought you
35-Luck happens when preparation meets opportunity
36-Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right
37-Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted
38-Send handwritten thank you notes
39- Loyalty is a 2 way street
40-Show gratitude
41- Be prepared
42-Apologize sincerely and mean it
43-Tell the truth
44-Be creative
45-No job is beneath you
46-Know where you are
47-Never give up
48-Ask and you shall receive
49 Decide: are you Tigger or Eyeore?
50-If you lead your life the right way, karma will come to you. The dreams will take care of themselves.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Day 143: God is working

My last post was somewhat sad over the situation of money being stolen at work, but I had truly come to peace over it and I have some really great news to share today!  I was just informed from one of my co-workers that the stolen money miraculously showed up returned today!!!!  Now if that doesn't make a person smile>>  I don't know what else would!  I'm so happy that God was working on it the whole time and that this individual made the RIGHT choice to take God's way out after their sinful behavior!  I always try and teach our kids (and stress to them) that when we sin, God always provides a way just have to TAKE it!  And so many don't or won't because of pride or fear of being revealed in what their sin was.....but God is more concerned with our character being developed than with our reputation being tarnished!!!  

I'm so glad I prayed about it.....and I'm so thankful that God gave me peace to replace my anger about it.......and I'm so thankful that a soul was redeemed today!!!  Thank you God!  For always working on our problems and on us......even when we feel unworthy!  You are the light and the way!!!  

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Day 143: The Holy Spirit

I have often heard people refer to being overcome by the Holy Spirit and I think I have finally experienced it myself!  

A few days ago there was a theft at my place of work.  It was worse to me than any other because it was a collection that we had taken up for an ill colleague who'd recently been through unexpected surgery and had an extensive hospital stay.  Granted, it is always wrong and awful for anyone to steal but this particular stolen item hurt everyone at work because we felt that it was an inside job and it wasn't the first time it had occurred.  It was in a location only few knew about and it was taken by someone we have suspected of thieving for years.  

Mad doesn't even begin to describe the way my co-workers and I felt after we heard the disturbing news.  Some were down right furious and we all wanted the person to be caught!

This feeling lingered with me for more than a day and I found myself being even more upset because I have been stolen from in the same way for a long, long time.  I also know several other people I work with who have experienced similar theft and so we have all just been very upset and hoping the perpetrator would be caught this time!

I, as well as others I work with, had a strong desire to RIGHT the wrong that had been done and to catch the one who had stolen.  We have been violated for long enough and we felt it was long overdue for this person to be caught and stopped.  We began discussing ways to catch the person and we felt that WE had to DO something to put an end to this sinful behavior that has permeated our work atmosphere for such a long time.  

By the second day after the event occurred, I came home from work and prayed.  I prayed for God to please let the person be caught.  I prayed that it would happen and soon!  And then all of a sudden, as if being covered by a warm blanket, a sense of peace came over me.  I felt the presence of God and felt and instantly thought--that He will handle it in His time.  I had a revelation that each person is on their own journey through life and this journey is a spiritual one.  No one knows the path that others will take and no one can MAKE a person repent.  My first thought was that this person has probably been stealing for so long that it is ingrained in them, that it is a way of life for them, and that they are probably living in denial about their "problem" because there'd be no way anyone could continue this sort of behavior on a clear conscience.  I decided that it wasn't as important that they were caught in what I saw as MY TIMELY MANNER.  It was all about God's timing and this person would probably need a very serious incident to occur to be their wake up call that what they are doing is actually wrong and sinful.    I also thought about how it wouldn't do them any good to just be "caught" and "punished" without their truly accepting what they'd done as wrong.  It was more important to their soul that they realize, truly realize what they have done and it was more important to their soul that they admit their problem, repent and change.  

In thinking of the situation in this manner, I felt an enormous relief and an incredible sense of peace about it.  I not longer felt a need to "catch" them or even know about the results of any investigation.  I discovered that the Holy Spirit had calmed the storm inside of me and the feelings of righteousness and anger dissipated.  I was free from all sense of urgency and anger to remedy the situation and it was WONDERFUL!    What's more--I felt a desire to PRAY FOR this individual.  I realized that praying FOR them was not only a much better idea than trying to catch them and a much more Godly reaction to their sin.  (Becoming Christ-like came to mind......)  Was I?  Was I maturing in my thinking and gaining wisdom through the situation?  Perhaps the lesson was about me and my reaction and not so much about what had occurred that I disagreed with in a worldly way, but what occurred provided me with an opportunity to practice my Christian walk in a very meaningful manner.  Yes-this person is a sinner, yes, what they did was wrong but God knows our sins and He is the only one in any condition to judge.  I even felt a little guilty for being so judgmental.  Don't we all sin?  And maybe our sins differ but who are we to point out other's sins simply because they differ from our own?  This person may continue to sin......right up until their very last breath but as long as they truly accept that they are sinners and seek God's forgiveness, even on their last breath, who am I to say that it won't be forgiven by God?  Shouldn't we all hope that we are ALL forgiven? (Pending true belief in God and authentic repentance).

So I write about this incident for a couple of reasons.  I hope it can be helpful to anyone facing a similar situation and to teach my children to grow in their faith and seek Godly wisdom above all else.  I want my children to know of my example of receiving the Holy Spirit when I sought prayer over a frustrating situation, say, rather than revenge.   Or even just staying angry about it--praying and giving it to God (who is best equipped to handle it anyway;)  is always the better choice!  And God blesses us when we seek him over pursuing our own desires.  I was blessed with a sense of comfort and peace and it even encouraged me to pray for the other person.  This person probably has a disease or is has a living hell that they are so desperate as to steal from co-workers for so long.  Either way, praying for them is a much better act than persecuting them.   If our praying for someone else could save a soul, wouldn't God be pleased about that? Our God is pretty amazing!  :)

This last image pertains exactly to my experience.  Talking did no good.  It just allowed us to vent and probably stirred up more strife.  Praying about it--now THAT made a difference!  

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Day 142: Irish Blessing

It's nearing St. Patrick's Day so what better time to reflect and recognize and celebrate my heritage; IRELAND!!!

My Grandmother was from Ireland 100% and although I've seen pictures, I've never had the pleasure of actually visinting Ireland.  It's a life dream (bucket list) of mine, if you will.  

Day 141: Boss

There's been a lot of buzz recently around the word BOSS.  It's been used to acknowledge success, power, achievement, etc.  When I saw this quote (supposedly from Beyonce, but who knows,) I thought it was too cute not to share (especially, with my girls!)

It's definitely an issue to consider--girls, particularly outward, innovative, creative and determined, can get labeled and held back by society's ideals.  She can be labeled "bossy" when she is confident, aggressive or a leader.  It is not always a "bad" quality and certainly has it's place and appropriate form of display, but this quote just sort of hit me and made me think of times when I'd thought of my girls as bossy (or had someone think of me as being bossy) and it really was an eye opener.  Sometimes we let those labels keep us from pursuing things or ideas that others may not be on board with and girls--let's face it>  we all struggle with the please- everyone- at -all -costs- syndrome!  Call it what you will, it  boils down to girls wanting to please to the point of it being a disease!!!  

And that's what resonates with me about this quote (whether or not it was from Beyonce--doesn't matter!)  What does matter is that it liberates rather than oppresses!  

March is Women's History Month!  So why not celebrate some amazing women in history who showed us that they weren't bossy--they were THE BOSS!!!  

Day 140: Rain and God's washing

This is a post I've been waiting around to find again so I could get the story right.  It's one I saw a few years back when email circulation was society's main communicator, and before social media!  It's still one of my favorites!

A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in Wal-Mart. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence.

It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout.. We all stood there, under the awning, just inside the door of the Wal-Mart.
We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day.

I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.

Her little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in, 'Mom let's run through the rain,'
She said.
'What?' Mom asked.

'Let's run through the rain!' She repeated.

'No, honey. We'll wait until it slows down a bit,' Mom replied.

This young child waited a minute and repeated: 'Mom, let's run through the rain..'

'We'll get soaked if we do,' Mom said.

'No, we won't, Mom. That's not what you said this morning,' the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom's arm.

'This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?'

'Don't you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, ' If God can get us through this, He can get us through anything! ' '

The entire crowd stopped dead silent.. I swear you couldn't hear anything but the rain.. We all stood silently. No one left. Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say.

Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child's life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.

'Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain. If GOD let's us get wet, well maybe we just need washing,' Mom said.

Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They got soaked.

They were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars. And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.

Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories...So, don't forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories every day. 


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Day 139: Happy

I love this song and found this brilliant!  If you like the song, I'm sure you will enjoy it too!  Life is short--dance and be happy!

You can purchase the song on itunes or just listen online.  I'm not sure how long this site will be active but it sure is fun!!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Day 138 Thanking our "moms"

So I really have to reevaluate this whole "thank your mom" thing because in my life experience, it would be more like thank your dad...for being both a mom and a dad....but this post is still very sweet and will be humorous to you if you are a mom.  

Day 137: Heaven is for real

I have been reading the book, Heaven is for Real. My kids and I watched the movie trailer online a few weeks ago and were completely enthralled so we decided to read it before Easter (when the movie is supposed to come out).

It has an easy flow and if you choose to read it--I'm sure you'll enjoy it.  It's basically about a 4 year old who has appendectomy surgery and goes to Heaven for about 3 minutes while on the operating table.  His accounts are quite fascinating and they certainly help paint a picture of what Heaven is really like.  I won't give too much away (in case anyone reading hasn't read it yet or wants to see the movie) but it isn't an overly religious book even though the father authoring it is a pastor.  It is a very heart warming story and it is touching.  I think my favorite part was hearing that in Heaven, we can fly.  This is something I used to dream about a lot when I was a child-flying.  I later read somewhere that when we're dreaming of flying that we are at our most creatively and it made sense to me.  Flying was such a freeing experience in my dreams and it certainly lessened it's prominence in my dreams as I grew older.  I often wish I could "tap" into that creative-child -like nature more frequently because I so enjoyed those dreams of flying.  So when I read this in the book, I was excited to think that flying is something we can experience again in Heaven.

Another point made in the book is that we see people in heaven.  This interests me because of losing my own father and the fact that my own children do not know him.  I am very excited of this aspect being altered in heaven or made a non-issue.  I feel that my children will get to make up for all that was not part of their earthly experience once they are in heaven with my earthly father as well as our spiritual father.  I long for them to know him like I do. As much as it saddens me that we all missed out on my father's earthly presence, I feel good knowing it will be a non-issue in heaven.  I truly believe that in heaven, it will be as if they knew him all along. And I will get to meet and know my grandmother, whom I missed out on knowing because she left earth before I was born. 

The other parts of the book that impacted me were just thinking about Heaven.  It isn't that I haven't thought about Heaven.  I have. It's just that I haven't thought recently about Heaven and this book inspired me to read some more of the bible (which I feel could only ever be a good thing).  I took a 21 day challenge to read bible passages for 21 days (in a pray like Daniel effort for the month of January) and gain Godly wisdom.  It was during these 21 days that I also read the Heaven is For Real book and another titled, The Temperament God Gave Your Kids.  Both books were very interesting and enjoyable. Both were enlightening and inspiring.  Both made me think about Heaven and our purpose here on earth.  We truly DO have a purpose and our time on earth is relatively small in the bigger picture.  Heaven is REAL and there are a dozen books out there on people's various experiences with it, but I prefer to adhere to a child's perspective. Much of what he experiences is in line with the bible's teachings on heaven.  It was just pleasant to hear it accounted from by a child. 

Day 136: Missing my dad and healing

I've posted before on losing my father at a relatively young age and I've reached a hefty milestone with his passing now.  This May will mark 21 years since he died.  Someone recently posted about having lived longer without their parent than they had with them.  I am almost to that point and reading that woman's post made me reflect.  As I've written before, it doesn't get "easier" as some may say.  At least it hasn't for me but I can tell you that I have definitely healed greatly from the pain of his passing and it is different now.  In some respect, and at some times the pain can feel just as raw but it's almost as if there is some protective field around the wound now.  I can't say it's time.  I can say that in the time that has passed, so many other wonderful blessings have come my way--mainly marriage and my own children.  These blessings have brought me such joy.  Joy that I didn't think I would ever feel again after my father died and it is through God's grace, that I have hurt less and received the gift of JOY more.  I can now remember my father with fondness, love and genuine JOY that I had the blessing of such an amazing man as my father. I can appreciate that, even though he was taken from earth far sooner than I would have liked, he was still here.  He was the man that he was and he impacted my life greatly while he was here.  

Just the other day, I happened to remember one song that I listened to over and over and over again during the first year of mourning my father's passing.  Ironically, I had to actually purchase it (again)  on itunes (although I own the CD and have it somewhere around here!)  I listened to it.  This was the first time in over 20 years that I've listened to the song.  In case you're wondering--the song is "Is it over yet?" by Wynona Judd.  It was probably written for a romantic relationship ending but for some reason--it was my go to song for comfort and it really allowed me to cry.  I mean cry it out, cry!  I think I related the whole tell me when it's over concept to letting go of my dad on earth.  It's as if I knew it was inevitable, yet I couldn't bear to deal with it so I turned to God:  just tell me when it's over, God.   I trusted God through the process.  I know that helped me heal.  He continued to bless me.  I know that helped me heal.  I did the work of mourning.  Thankfully, during our first year of marriage, my husband and I worked opposing shifts so I had a lot of time alone to mourn.  This too, was a blessing.  Within a year, our lives had rapidly changed.  New jobs, a new beautiful baby boy and a home that was once again filled with love and joy.  
I began to heal.    
Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.  (Mathew 5:4)  I am thankful that music helped.  I am also thankful that I can listen to that very same song now and feel stronger.  I have grown and healed by God's grace.   

I pray that my children never have to experience that pain of losing a parent.  But should they ever have to endure anything painful (as I'm sure they will.  It's a part of life.)  I pray that God will be their go-to- and refuge, because I know first hand that He is their number one caretaker and only through Him, with Him and in Him is there hope of healing and strength.  

Day 135: The Wife List

As promised:  here you go guys!

So this could be for my son.....although there are still years between him and marriage......he is of dating age and will venture off to college soon.  What I like about these lists is that they are simplistic yet powerful.  Attainable, yet not every girl will make the cut!  We just did 'temperament' identifiers today.....wasn't 'choosy' one of the identifiers???  ;)

Day 134: The Husband List

There still stands several years between marriage and my daughters.  Having said that......I like to "save" tidbits of information, wisdom and Godly advice whenever I come across it.  This blog is perfect for that purpose because if I simply include these posts as I find them.......then I will always have them when the time comes to "share".

This post is called the Husband List and it's fairly short (12 items) but they are the BIG things and I feel that many girls in today's world could really benefit from hearing them!  Don't fret fellas.....there's a list for you too!  ;)  see my next post! 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Day 133: Wit and Wisdom from Mother Angelica

I've recently discovered Mother Angelica, and her wit and wisdom are quite adorable and inspiring! Something about her reminds me gently of my grandmother (who I never got the chance to meet, sadly ;(  
You can follow her on twitter, facebook or wherever you socially meditate ;)  This quote gives you a "taste"!  
Photo: Please share Mother Angelica's wit and wisdom with your friends on Facebook and other social networks. We will also pin this on EWTN's Mother Angelica Pinterest board!

Day 132: A literacy lover! The Power of Words!

I have always been a literacy lover!  I grew up with my nose in books.  From learning how to read upon my daddy's lap with Dick and Jane books, to Dr. Seuss, The Berenstein bears, Amelia Bedelia, Judy Blume, Roald Dahl, and so many countless others!  My life has been a soundtrack of various authors and books that met me at the door and carried me through life! 

I am so thrilled that my children are lovers of literacy as well!!! I've never been able to say no to a request for a book.  I've joked that we could open our own library!  ;)  

 Recently, I began to think about all the social media that is so currently prevalent and it occurred to me that we have a new generational literacy--social media!! A few years back, we were discussing the literacy emerging through the internet but it's evolved again.  Just look at all the READERS and WRITERS emerging!!  I love it!  As a literacy lover--I especially love that it involves my passion too--technology!   There will always be nay-sayers with negative things to point out about social media......but I see a very positive aspect of it ALL and that is LITERACY is alive and growing!  

So go on with your bad selves--bloggers, tweeters, facebookers......instagrammers!!!  It's all literacy! and it makes my little bookworm heart happy!! :)

Day 131: Raising Kind Children

A few days into my 21 Day Challenge (a prayer challenge to read specific passages in the bible each day .....for 21 days--inspired by Daniel and including the last few days of reading from the book of Daniel)  I happened upon a prayer to ask God to help identify those who aren't FOR you.  Those who may actually be AGAINST you.  It termed it fairly heavily (in my opinion) because it went as far as to say ask God to reveal any who plot evil against you, and to me, this just didn't resonate.  Maybe I'm naive, well, ok.  I definitely am, but I honestly don't ever think that anyone has "plotted evil" against me.  Well, not since an old college boyfriend cheated on me!  And even then......I wouldn't consider it "plotting"  He probably didn't have the sense to "plot" if he tried!  ;)  But I guess I don't think of people being against you to that extent--the word PLOT.  But after the day I posted it, my own daughter disclosed to me that her "friend" had asked my daughter's date to take her to an upcoming dance. Knowing very well that my daughter was already asked by the boy to be her date for the dance.  Sad face?  yes!  Really?  yes!

I instantly thought of the prayer for that day!  Hmmm......perhaps God means "plot" in the  more general terms.  The more common things that occur such as a "friend" being......not so much of one!  It saddened me that this type of behavior was common among high school "friends" and I had to (again) explain to my daughter that some people are out for themselves.....even if it means hurting a friend in the process.  I'm so glad that we have raised our children differently.  They're not perfect--by any means.  They just know how to be a good friend and thankfully--they've learned it through parental friendships which model true friendship.....and relationships in general, for that matter.  Being a good friend is really quite simple.  It means being loyal, true, and solid to the core.  It starts with a person who has good character traits and morals and is blossomed by relationships that foster caring for one another, enjoying each other's company and supporting each other through the good and the bad all while sharing a standard of behavior for what is and what is not kind.  That's the part I'm seeing quite lacking in a few teenagers......and it brings me to today's "share post".  

This post was shared on social media about raising kind daughters.  It applies to sons as well.  It's an example of what real, true friendship SHOULD look like and it's heart warming!  You may see yourself in it--or you may realize there is some growing to do in this area.  Either way--I think you'll enjoy it.  Brings to mind a common quote (which I've blogged about earlier) that I saw posted in a local bakery.
Here's to Good Women
May we Know Them
Be Them
Raise Them!

Here's to good people!  May we Know Them, Be Them, Raise Them!  :)

Kindness among young girls doesn't start on the playground or in the locker room -- it starts at home. Most notably, it starts with kind mothers raising kind daughters. Our girls see how we treat our friends. They also notice how we treat their friends.

We moms rub off on our girls. Over time our way of thinking becomes their way of thinking. If we want to raise kind daughters, we need to start by being kind mothers.

Click here for the link to the entire post.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Day 130: Parental Loss and Love

A dear friend of mine lost her mother to cancer a couple of years ago.  We have shared a bond of losing a parent through this experience and even though I lost a father and hers was her mother--it pretty much comes down to the same basic feelings when THE parent you lose meant the world to you!  She recently shared this post and I wanted to share it here for my own children.  It is beautifully written and will likely make you cry--even if you haven't lost a parent.  If you just ARE one--you will find beauty in her words!

The parts that struck a strong chord with me:

For a long time(after Mother's death) I didn't understand how I could (for me, it was.....I didn't understand how I could ever feel joy again)
And then I had you, (my children). And I became a mother myself. I wrapped my arms around you, your little breaths hot and quick on my neck. I learned how to rock you to sleep, how to pick you up when you fell, how to make you giggle, how to make your eyes light up with wonder. I held you closer than I've ever held anyone and I vowed that I would never, ever let you go (and my life was full of joy again!)

This bond (parent/child) between us -- the one between she and I, and the ones between you and me -- is something utterly intangible, unbreakable, and unstoppable. Nothing, not distance or silence or chaos or death, could ever undo this connection we have.
Mothers are mysterious creatures. For us women, they at once anchor us and support us. They hold us back and teach us how to go forth. We rebel against the women they are, and we desperately try to become the women they are. I know that throughout your lifetimes you will push and pull against me as only daughters can do.
There will be times . (as a my child)...., when you question every decision I have ever made, when you frown upon all the things that I am. And there will be other times in which you try to fit your very shadow to match mine, times in which you wish with everything you are that you could be me. These swifts kicks and tugs will overlap so many times that you may never be quite sure what it is you want from me.

Even now, 18 years after her death, I can feel her all around me, her existence inextricably linked to mine.

What a blessing PARENTAL LOVE is!!