Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Happy State

Just read the headlines on comcast.net that Indiana is not a happy state. They rank the top 15, I have no idea how unhappy a state we were. However, where my son lives, Utah, is the number one happy state. Figures. If I could wake up to mountains everyday, a town that goes to bed at 9 p.m., and beautiful 70 degree weather for a lot of the year, I'd be in a happy state also. I'm glad he gets to enjoy that.
My Cleveland brother texted me yesterday. "Keep the snow, we don't want it." Cleveland generally gets our southern Indiana weather a day later. (But we don't get the lake effect.)
I told him we had rain and high winds, but no snow. Yet. He replies, "Why do we live here?".
I have asked myself that countless times. One, jobs. Two, comfort level of not having to move every couple of years. I absolutely loved living in Colorado, and would love to be in that climate again, but reality is 4/5 of my family are right here in Bloomington. And I love my neighbors, workmates, church, and the town in general. It is hard enough being so far from our eldest, and I wouldn't want to be that far while we still have one here in college. Once the chicks are all hatched and settled in their own life, (and we have Obama insurance or other portable coverage), we can consider moving to where we really like to live.
Until then, we will continue to live in a not happy state according to comcast. But in our minds we are in the perfect state for us at this time in our journey.
You can be in a happy state and be miserable, proably as easily as living in a sad state and being happy. Make sense?
Share what state you living in.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

December already?

I have a little calendar on the side of my computer for reference. The other day ( or so it seemed, I leaned over to look at a date and low and behold it was on August. So I tore off the next three months and had them sitting on my desk to remind me how time flies. Not that I need to be reminded. So yesterday, I went to check it again and it was still on November. How could I miss 4 months of time just flying by? I don't like this.I try to savor each moment, yet the moments are fleeting. So I shall rip off one more page of 4 weeks, 30 days, 720 hours, 43,200 minutes, (I don't want to think about the seconds) and look forward to a month filled with the love of Christ, family and friends. I am so excited that we have been able to make plans to go to our beloved vacation place for Christmas and have our whole family together. We haven't seen my son and his soon to be fiance since last Christmas. What are your plans? How will you celebrate the greatest gift we have all been given? One thing I plan on doing is moving my calendar.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Short note to wish all my blogging buddies and readers a blessed Thanksgiving. "Tom" the turkey is awaiting his stuffing in the fridge, thanks to some dear friends who gave him to us. We have made plans to eat with our good friends across the street. Love to all, enjoy, and remember Who we are thankful to!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Game Day- Bucket Game

It's 7:30 a.m. and already the sentries at at their posts. One lone tailgate is going on in the parking lot. Barricades are up to eventually corral the masses into their appropriate parking spot. Townies not gong to the game must remember which way to go or NOT to go on game day. One wrong turn and you could be miles out of your way to your destination.

Kickoff is eight hours away, yet the worker bees are buzzing around getting things prepared. Golf carts meander through the parking lots. Tents are being set up. Ah , the excitement of Big Ten Football at its best. The arch rivals IU and Purdue will play this afternoon . The sun is a huge golden ball in the sky, promising awesome football weather this afternoon.

Yesterday at school, we had a breakfast tailgate wearing our team's colors, or paraphernalia. I wore a new "Take the Bucket" t-shirt and took an official IU jersey for a colleague to wear. What fun. I do have to say, I wore my black and gold Keens ON MY FEET to represent my alma mater in a small, insignificant way. Other than that it is IU all the way.

We have nine people coming for the game- more on that later. Sloppy joes are made, cheesy potatoes will be soon. Nothing better than a fire at home after the game and some yummy food. Other than a win. Go Hoosiers- update at 11.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Blessings, Blessings, Blessings!!!

My sister had recommended a book on fasting that I read recently. Two co-workers and I decided to try it one lunch a week and focus the time on prayer for our families and school. We chose Wednesdays as that is the middle of the week. About 10:30 that morning, I got a text from my daughter saying she had been hired as a teacher's aide! We had been praying for a position that would provide benefits as she is nearing the age when she will no longer be on our health insurance. Praise!

We have taken a family trip to Florida the last five Christmases. We no longer buy presents, we make a memory. Funds are very tight this year as my husband had been unemployed for eight months, but we still wanted to make it happen. We decided to drive, saving lots on airlines, parking, rental car, etc., but we still have to pay for lodging. When my husband made the reservations, they offered to waive the 25% Christmas week additional fee! He didn't even ask! Praise!

I had a conversation with another colleague who said that whenever she had made decisions stepping out in faith not knowing where the money would come from, she always received an unexpected check or money to help cover the costs. I told her I would claim that also, thinking I don't know of any unexpected money that could come our way, but I would trust it would happen. I then went home and opened the mail and WOW! There was a letter saying I had received a one hour tuition credit for a grad class that I am taking- $335 worth!! Praise!

Later that evening I received and unexpected phone call from a friend of ours who owns a sheep/turkey farm. He had asked if I bought my turkey yet for Thanksgiving. I hadn't. He said he had one ready and waiting for me at the farm if I could come pick it up on Sunday. (These are amazing home grown $3.89 a pound turkeys that melt in your mouth). PRAISE!!!

Some people may call these coincidences. I call them God-incidences. His hand was all over each of those blessings and I don't think it was chance that had them all happen the same day.
Now I don't believe that every time I choose to fast that miraculous things will happen. But I do think that God wanted me to know that he was hearing us and appreciated our efforts at spending time with him in lieu of eating lunch.

How has God blessed you lately?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Traveling

I love to travel. It started when I was nine years old and went on a plane to visit my dad who had moved to Arizona. The first year I went with my 16 year old cousin, whom I thought was sooo old at the time. (Nowadays I would hesitate sending a 16 year old by her herself halfway across the country. Times have changed.) I was hooked. I loved flying above and through the puffy marshmallow clouds. The thrill of getting off the plane to be greeted by my dad and my new family never grew old. The smell of orange blossoms still transports me back to the moment the first wave of hot air hits me as I exit the airport. Even now, some 45+ years later, that smell evokes the same emotions.
But I digress. For the past five years, our family has chosen to make a memory at Christmas, in lieu of buying and giving gifts that no one needs (or at times wants!) So we have vacationed at a magical place in Florida called Anna Maria Island. It is a hidden treasure. This year funds are extremely tight, yet we are still trying to go. So my days and nights have been spent trying to find airfare from here, as well as getting my son and his soon to be fiancee reservations from Utah to meet in Florida. Easier said than done. As much as I love to fly, we may be driving. In "The Boat", a 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis. They will see us coming- the Clampetts on vaca. We'll take pictures!
There is nothing more important than celebrating the birth of Christ- especially with your loved ones. How do you plan to celebrate? What are your plans?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Yes, I am alive and well.....tired!

I absolutely cannot believe that October has come and gone, and now November is half over. I have so many thoughts running through my head at all times, (scary, huh?), but don't take the time and sit down to write. How does one get it all done? I've been at a lot of GREAT trainings, presented at a Learning Disabilities conference on ADHD, and spent a lot of time crafting, getting ready for the Pourhouse first annual Craft Fair with Kristy. And going to football games and hosting guests, etc. I love it all, but my 55 year old body ( yes I have joined the AARP ranks , but not the organization) sometimes doesn't keep up with my 25 year old brain. Therein lies the problem.

My profound thought for this morning is how does a dog decide what is the perfect place to do its business? I lovingly took my daughter's dog for a walk this morning so she could sleep in, ( substitute teaching is hard work, plus her foot has been very painful), and I traipsed the mongrel all over the park as she sniffed and squatted, and sniffed and squatted and then decided to move on. Eight times. I'm glad no one was watching her pull me from spot to spot and she searched for the elusive perfect place. She finally assumes the position, I anxiously await the final product, and the collection bag doesn't open. No perforation, no hole, no nothing. Just one solid piece of plastic seamed shut from end to end. Figures. Thankfully I had a spare and all was gathered and we happily trotted home.

Next week I'm sleeping in. Hugs!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fall and Football

Whoa! Where did September go? My favorite weather is here- 70 degrees, sunny and windy. I LOVE it! Football here we come. I am so excited for tomorrow- family coming and huge tailgating, fires in the pit in the backyard, hot cider and Chex mix. Doesn't get a whole lot better. Kelly's been baking , getting ready for Homecoming at her Alma Mater. ( and our company ,too-thanks!) House is fairly cleaned,( hard to keep up with a black lab and all her hair...) fixings for chili are in the fridge. It's amazing to think back and realize that I did this almost every weekend for a LONNNNNNG time when we were in major college football jobs. It's so fun to be back in the Big Ten and a part of it all again. Have a great weekend! Go Hoosiers- beat the Buckeyes ( with apologies to my Ohio roots and in-laws-OSU grads). Hey, we root for the team that pays the bills!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Numbers are in!

My friend blogged about numbers, so here is my story. Had my cholesterol checked- Since June I have lowered it 42 points!!!!! Triglicerides went from 143 to 38. Been bad about exercising, haven't taken the fish oil I was supposed to. Only thing I can figure is I have eliminated dairy from my diet, drinking almond milk and limiting eggs somewhat. Wow. Maybe I should write a how to lower your cholesterol book without meds...I am also off thyroid medication. Maybe that has something to do with it also. I am thankful whatever the case. What are your numbers?

Storybook Wedding

That was the phrase that was repeated numerous times this past weekend at my niece's wedding. It was amazing! My sister is wedding planner of the century. Although she said she is done. Was awesome, but now that it's over, it's done. When I have time, I will chronicle our experience from arriving at the hotel to leaving Sunday morning and everything that happened in between. I am still digesting it all. What an incredible wedding. The best part was the absolute, tender love that the bride and groom exuded for each other. I told my girls on the way home that they had to wait to find a man that looks at them the way Josh looked at Carly all weekend, the mountaintop being his expression and tears in his eyes, taking deep Lamaze breaths as she walked down the aisle. The priest even make them stop and take deep breaths prior to starting the service! It's a cliche, but you could definitely feel the love radiating! I will continue to pray that kind of love for each of my children. And start saving my pennies, make that quarters.....

Monday, September 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Kristy!!

Who is that old lady? I had a long day........

With my youngest turning 21 today, our three children all all of legal age. Makes me feel old. Wasn't I just bringing her home from the hospital? Putting her on the school bus for Kindergarten? Sewing her costume for Halloween? Having a Splash theme birthday party for her 8th year? Throwing a surprise party for her Sweet 16? Homecoming and Prom dress shopping for the perfect dress and shoes to match? Putting her on a plane for a mission trip to Guatemala? Leaving her freshman year in another state, five hours away, sobbing all the way home? Ah, sweet, precious memories . Am I making enough now? I pray I am never too busy to cherish the moments with each of my children. Even in the daily grind.

I love the poems based on "If I had to live my life over again", what you would do more of and what you would do less of? Really makes you think about what is and is not important. I have never regretted the times I have stayed up too late talking to one of my kids, or being awakened at any hour of the night for some need. I am ever so thankful that I have been the one to have been called. Very thankful and blessed.

I could go on about what an amazing young woman my now 21 year old daughter is, but those of you who know her, already know that. She is truly an amazing, special gift from God. Happy Birthday, sweet Princess. You are loved.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Toothaches

Good news and bad news. Good news is I didn't have the root canal that I thought I was going to when I went to the oral surgeon yesterday. Bad news is that another tooth needs an apioectomy. That is where you already had a root canal and for some reason or other, it didn't work, so now you have to have surgery where your gum is cut and they go into the root from the gum. Ugly picture. Because otherwise, they would have to drill through the crown ( have had that also) and risk cracking the crown which would cost you another $800. On top of the $846 for the root canal. Haven't heard how much the apio is (have had two of those previously also). So the dentist tells me that people usually have this done on a Thursday afternoon, take off Friday, and have the weekend to recover. Not my idea of fun , and I have a wedding to attend out of town on Saturday, so I declined. ARRGGGHHH. I had braces for five years ( it keeps getting longer..) , brush my teeth , have never missed a 6 month check up and I still have major tooth issues. I don't get it. I could buy my daughter a car for the amount of money I've put into my mouth. And they thought of actually choosing to have my mouth cut and stitched is not particularly appealing to me, especially to give up a whole weekend recuperating. I guess I shouldn't complain, as a dear friend of mine just had major surgery and she can't even drive for a few weeks. So I'll make my appointment, grab my ice bags, Tylenol, and a good book, and head off to the dentist on my next free weekend.

What fun things do you have to look forward to?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Laboring

It's Labor Day and I am laboring. I've walked the dog (OK that's exercising, but for me laborsome and usually my daughter does it, but she is at the lake this weekend), cleaned out the lazy susan, vacuumed, wiped down cupboards, cleaned up dishes, and I have to go start a load of laundry. Why is it on the days off, I feel like I have to work to catch up to my daily life? At some point would like my house to always be presentable, and not have to spend my free time cleaning up. I guess that would be when the house would be on the market to sell, so I really don't want to have it look nice all the time that badly. I like my house, love my neighbors and location, and am very happy here in Bloomington America, as my husband says. I'm off to catch the manager's specials at Krogers, not nearly as plentiful since the college students have returned and invaded the city. What are you doing today? I hope you take some time to enjoy the respite from your daily routine. I hope to work on some crafts or sew a little this afternoon. And catch up on some phone calls. Blessings!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

To Market, to Market

As I was peeling the last of the shriveled, dried up strawberries, ( I can't eat seeds or I wouldn't be spending time making them naked), my thoughts ran to the Farmer's Market. I am going later this morning , but I will not find strawberries as they are a June product. Every week the paper lists what new produce will be at the market dependent on the growing season. I love it! The peaches have been the best lately, and my daughter's favorite are the amazing array of gladiola colors. They last a week, well worth the $.90 apiece you pay! Then the fall brings apples, pumpkins, squash. And football. Nothing like the crisp, cool, sunny 70 degree days of fall. My favorite.
So I am off to the Market with my youngest, and my husband who surprise, surprise doesn't have to work today. What a blessing.
Enjoy the day.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Blessing Ring Part 2

Cards are added for people to write blessings on.
Blessing Ring

I got this great idea from my friend in sunny Florida- thanks Bets! I've yet to make one for me or for a gift, but I made the top of this one for my friend for her parent's 50th wedding anmniversary. She added the framed explanation which makes a nice touch! I hope to make some for birthdays, showers, etc. Possibilities are endless!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Frugaling (long u, hard g)

I'm finally "in". It is now "in" to be frugal. I have been frugal ( nice, politically correct way of saying cheap), my whole life. Ask my kids. They will say nothing in our house is ours. (Well, it is, but what they mean is we didn't purchase it). I agree most things are hand me downs (or ups from someone younger). I will be the first to admit I like a freebie. The computer cabinet that I am sitting at was our neighbor's. Our family couch, chair and ottoman belonged to a friend my daughter babysits for. Numerous items are from garage sales. Yes, your junk becomes my treasure.

I guess I was too influenced by my grandmother who had nothing growing up and lived through the depression. Her frugalness gene must have been passed down to me. Somehow it has managed to skip a generation with my children. The thought of garage saling (long a), or shopping at Goodwill has never entered their world.

So now with the economy, it has become fashionable to save money by bargain shopping. This has been my life for the past 30 years of familydom. My daughter quickly pointed out that even our beds are someone else's. Now before you get grossed out, they are all from very close friends- we KNOW the people that slept on the mattresses previously. And there are covers on each of them. Heck, we are all a few paychecks away from being homeless and then we could be sleeping in a tent. So I am thankful for all our friends and families that have shared their castoffs with us. It is all a matter of perspective.

I do draw the line on shoes- having major foot issues....nuff said about that. A lot of our furniture pieces are antiques from family members. These are priceless treasures that mean a lot. On one of our moves the mover took a look around as he was packing our beloved items and said he hated antiques and he wouldn't pay two cents for any of it. I gave him the benefit of the doubt that he really didn't realize that he was saying this to an antique lover who was paying him the big bucks. And this man was responsible for making sure that this "junk" made it cross country in one piece. But that's another story I am choosing to forget at the moment.

Well off to Beth Moore simulcast-should be fun! Who gets your hand me downs and what is your favorite recycled item in your house? Have a blessed weekend.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I am woman hear me roar!

I just changed /replaced a toilet seat. Dang plastic bolt wouldn't come off, so I got the handy dandy saw out and cut through the stripped plastic screw. Replaced it with new and improved metal hinges. And it works!

This was after I went to the post office, did two loads of laundry, went to Bed, Bath & Beyond to get above toilet seat, put air in the tires of a car, and helped give an enema to a neighbor's child who was in dire misery. This was after working from 8-3:30. I won't even go into what I do there on a daily basis. Suffice it to say that my should be 50 minute lunch is only 30 minutes, which was interrupted today by an errant fire drill, which meant I had to gulp down my vittles in less than 20 minutes. And I never did eat dinner, unless you call a half of a peanut butter sandwich on the way to B,B,& B dinner.

The funny thing is, I don't even think about doing all these things until my mother in law called in the middle of all this and asked what I was doing. And then it hit me. WAAAAyy too much!
I know everyone is extremely busy, and we all wear our busy badges. At some point, however, we as a culture need to say slow down. This was not where I was going with this blog at all, but bear with me.

When was the last time you played a game, just to play a game? This summer, my two girls, a neighbor, and her mother and I all played various tables of Euchre. I hadn't played since college , and had forgotten how much fun it could be. We laughed, ( a lot!) and I learned that when you are "in the barn" ( meaning you have one trick left to win) you can put the two scoring cards behind your ears, like an animal ( donkey?). You had to be there, anyway we all got our picture taken at one time or another with our ears sticking out and cards flapping .

So I encourage you to slow down, take some time to play. The toilet seats , tires , and enemas can wait. (well, maybe not the latter). What are your favorite relaxation games?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hardball

My daughter ( who played Division I softball in college) is playing on a slow pitch rec league as a substitute. Her sister and I went tonight to watch and support her team. Gorgeous night, sweatshirt weather- no bugs, ideal for sitting back and enjoying a friendly game of softball.
Until one player took out another player at first base. I mean walloped her! The first baseman never saw it coming. I happened to see her out of the corner of my eye as she was feet up in the air, suspended and coming down HARD on her back. Then the tempers started flaring. Words were thrown ( thankfully no punches, although there were threats of what was going to happen in the parking lot after the game.) Which the umpire promptly told the other team if ANYTHING happened, their team would be ejected from the league and the police would be called.
THIS IS A SOFTBALL GAME!!! Such drama I have never seen. At least not from grown ( supposedly ) women.
So what gets your juices flowing? My youngest ( who doesn't have a competitive cell in her body) was extremely amused by the whole scenario. She had witnessed the whole scene as it unfolded, whereas I just caught the tail end of the first baseman's tail being upended. My daughter who was playing ( first base), was concerned that they would try to retaliate and take HER out in the next inning!
Thankfully, the game ended peacefully, we lost, and we all made it safely to our cars. Can't wait to go to the double header tomorrow night!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Venus I love you!

A while ago my sister blogged about teaching her 6th grade daughter to shave her legs. A rite of passage. Horrible to start, as you will have to do it for the rest of your life. ( Or until you can no longer reach and someone else has to do it for you, or you get to the state of not caring how long it gets anymore). Anyway, I was lamenting the fact that I have been doing this unpopular chore for over four decades, when I discovered a new razor. An amazing razor. A razor that explains why my two twenty something daughters shave everyday and it seems like no big deal. They must be using this razor. The kind I usually use are the ones you get 85 in a package for $1. Double blade, if I am feeling "flush" , as my Grama used to say, I 'd spring for an extra dollar and buy the ones with the "triple " blade. OOOOOooooo.

But lo and behold VENUS Embrace!!!!!! This awesome puppy has five blades with a swivel head, and a strip of moisturing soap. Fireworks!!! Ta Da!! It is the most amazing shave EVER!!! My legs have never felt so smooth and I didn't have to put little pieces of toilet paper on the usual cuts around my knees and ankles because there weren't any. Small miracles.

Now I have no idea what these little suckers cost, but I am willing to give up a few manager's specials to purchase this brand again.

What's your story? I still have scars from battles with Bics. (no offense Bic Company- I used you for years). What is your fun beauty secret?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The difference between a T and an E

How much of a difference is there between a "t" and an "e"? This is not a trick question.

Recently our family has had some challenging issues regarding health and employment. I am so thankful for my family, friends and the body of Christ coming alongside to pray for our needs.

Interestingly, in the span of two days I received an email from a dear friend, saying she was "lifeing" me up in prayer. I actually didn't notice it until a cc person said good to know you will be "lifed" up in prayer. Soon after, a stranger who is praying for our needs wrote to say that she would continue to "life " my family up.

I don't believe in coincidences, only God-incidences. How two total strangers could totally skip a key and write the different word which throws a whole new meaning onto the subject, can only be explained as a God thing.How awesome to think that my life is before the throne, rather than just a passing moment on the continuum.

As I pondered the thought of others "lifeing" me up, I got really excited. I had a friend who prays for me tell me today, "You are a mess!" I told her, but I am God's mess! So I am excited that others are lifeing me up. Please feel free to do so! Especially since I am having to go to the Dr. again tomorrow for a new development! I should have been a doctor.....

Monday, August 3, 2009

Gardening

Green thumb I am not. I love to look at flowers, eat veggies and herbs from the garden, but I do not like to get dirt under my nails. Not that I am prissy or anything, I just can't stand the feel/look of dirt under my nails.

That being said, I am very thankful that my husband does like to garden. So he takes care of the pretty flowers I buy and tell him where to plant. What a team. This year we bought one tomato plant. Amazing what a dollar plant will grow into. This thing is monstrous. It has a cage and has had to be staked twice. So far we have only gotten two tomatoes, but are they tasty! We also have one green pepper plant, and one squash, neither of which has born any fruit yet. Perhaps they are late bloomers?

My dear friend has a wonderful garden that her husband planted and she is very generous in sharing her bounty. This garden has its own zip code. It also has a resident rabbit and woodchuck. I visited the plot the other day, being forewarned to look out for the critters that took up residence. Thankfully, we didn't see anything other than the newly dug up pile of dirt that alerted us to his presence.

So how does your garden grow? Do you like to get your hands muddy? What treasures have you sown lately?

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Crafting Continues


Got a wonderful surprise call from a dear friend (with whom I used to craft)after she read my blog yesterday. What fun sharing ideas, and catching up on our lives- like we have never been apart. Yesterday, I also had ice tea at McAllister's with another friend I hadn't seen in months,what a blessing! God blessed me richly yesterday with golden friends.

So the mess continues. My husband just gave up yesterday and hid in our bedroom upstairs (we have a nice TV and comfy day bed in our room!) This picture was what started it all. Aren't the girls precious? They met as friends when my daughter attended Toledo for one semester and have kept in touch. One of their past times is crafting , so they made this when they visited together a few weeks ago. As soon as I overcome the technical camera difficulties, I will post more pics of our inventory.

Kit and I are heading to a B&B in Springfield , IL this afternoon, for a little getaway prior to school starting. I have workshops all next week, so this is my last hurrah. We will do the history thing with Lincoln's birthplace, library, etc. No crafting, no blogging, for a few days anyway. Be back Monday! Have a blessed weekend.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Original Crafting

My daughters and I are in a craft show in November. So while we have time now, we are busily crafting away at our kitchen table, much to my husband's chagrin. His expectation is that as soon as you are done with something, you put it away. Do you know how long that would take? And then we'd have to drag it all out again., organize it so that we would know exactly where it is again, and that would totally interrupt the creative flow. He just doesn't get it. I, on the other hand, am oblivious to the chaotic mess, as the colors, papers, stickers and paints blend into a wonderful jumble of yet to be discovered ideas for treasures to be crafted into something unique to sell. And eating on TV trays isn't the end of the world.

Anyway, it is a great bonding experience for the girls and me, my youngest's best friend has also been creating with us. Some items are so cute that my daughter is not sure she wants to part with them! Her friend encourages her by telling her to make a duplicate. But each is original,(we are trying to utilize materials we have, not spending any additional money when possible), just as we are each unique, individuals made by our Creator. No matter how hard we try to emulate, or be like someone else in the way we talk, act, or dress, there will be no one exactly like us. Nor should there be.

When my kids were little, I used to tell them, God made you exactly the way you are. So we will continue to make individual items, knowing that no two will be exactly alike.

What makes you unique? Do you see it as a blessing? Or has it caused you to question yourself at times?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Back again!

Hello, anyone still out there? I can't believe how quickly this past month has gone. I was busy teaching summer school (ended today),and tutoring, which will still continue through next week, but only two hours a day instead of 7:45-11:45, and then 12-2! I've also dealt with wisdom teeth, physical therapy for my rib/back/spine?, thyroid biopsy(still waiting on results),various Dr. appt.,and a move!

I worked diligently on a movie for the last day of summer school, checked and rechecked that it would play on the big screen, complete with sound, and it worked perfectly. Until we tried to play it today and the screen goes blank. Nothing. Called up the techie teachers and they couldn't figure it out either. So we readjusted (isn't that what all good teachers do? ) and moved it to the computer lab. And stalled bus call by 15 minutes. Other than a few disgruntled bus drivers, all went well. It was a nice ending to a successful program, topped off with donated HagenDas ice cream from Krogers!Thank you Tom Ruemler!

My daughter and her dad rented a Uhaul and moved home the rest of her stuff (big furniture items) from her rental in Indianapolis. So now we have a garage full of extra furniture that we have to store until she moves out again.She continues to seek a teaching job for the fall.Kind of nice having some chicks back in the nest.

My youngest had her wisdom teeth out a week and a half ago.So she lived here for the last week. They still hurt. She ended up with dry socket (VERY painful-I've had one), then an infection. Somehow(as my mother-in-law says) we always get whatever is in the lowest percentage of happening. Kristy kept saying, all my friends said...and she fit none of it. Happy to say she no longer looks like a chipmunk, however is still in a little pain. Perhaps it would have been wiser to leave them in??? Almost everyone has a wisdom tooth story. What's yours?

So hopefully I will be back in the habit of blogging. I have missed it!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Torch Lake

I am sitting in The Muffin Tin eating a yummy carrot raisin muffin looking at beautiful(the world's 4th most) Torch Lake in Alden, Michigan. My happy place. Well, not this cute shop, but being Up North on a lake. Our family has vacationed in this area for over 20 years, and it has never lost its appeal.We started vacationing here when our 27 year old was 4, and our middle child was 8 months. Our youngest has been here since being in utero!

This is the first time I have ever blogged from a laptop- makes me feel official or something-ha!Sitting here using wireless...

Well,we are off to explore for the day, hopefully a boat ride later in the day and a mini family reunion on my husband's side starting tonight. Life is good.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

I've been anxiously waiting to remove the "almost" from the top of my blog info. As of midnight tonight, my dear sweet "Norman", known to the world as Kit, and I will be married 30 years. Amazing. Where has the time gone? It seems we were just dating back in the 70's. As we parted to go to our respective hometowns after college graduation, I distinctly remember him saying, "I'll give you a ring." His grandmother (who adored me), said, "When??", eagerly anticipating the engagement rock that was to be put on my finger. However, I knew it just meant a phone call, and so it was that we dated long distance for the next three years, until he finally "gave me a ring", ironically, using the diamond that had been in his grandmother's engagement ring. I lovingly wear that ring today and am thankful to have such cherished memories.
I don't have time right now to get all romantic and mushy, as I have to run to my daughter's softball game, but I do want to say Happy Anniversary Hop ,I pray for at least 30 more, and I love you more!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fireworks in June

Ohhh. I am speechless. I know you find that hard to believe, but last night (this morning) I was. We had a terrible thunderstorm- even our dog was barking at the thunder that was shaking our house. But the rain passed (torrential downpour I might add!-of course-my husband put down weed killer on the lawn and that is a sure sign it will rain as it is supposed to stay dry for 24 hours), the stars came out and there were snow white puffy clouds on the horizon above my neighbors' houses. And the show began.
It was an electrical symphony of lightening bolts. I have never seen anything like it. If it hadn't been three in the morning, I may have had the sense to get out my camera. But I was mesmerized and couldn't even pull myself away to get my husband up to view this spectacular phenomenon. WOW. I could picture God looking down from above, conducting and orchestrated this heavenly concert. I hope the view was the same from the top for all our beloved ones who have seen the throne of our Lord.
Blessings!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

ARGHHHH!!!

That's pirate speak for frustration. I can't believe that a week has slipped by without me blogging. I compose in my head all the time, yet my days have been crazy with Dr. appts., getting ready for summer school, enjoying my girls (playing Mad Gab- awesome , hysterical game), and clutter busting. All successful I might add. But I am hustling off already to the "First day of training" for our not summer school, summer school program- I'm a participant today, my turn to train comes Thurs. and Friday. I'm very excited and honored that God has placed me in this position. Fulfilling a desire I have had a long time. Thanks!
So off I run more later...catch you later...have an incredible day!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Trust and Garage sale-ing

I've been on a quest for a big pot since May. My beautiful $5 Kroger hibiscus had outgrown its second home and its roots were poking through the soil. I needed at least a 5 incher- preferably 17. Has anyone priced pots lately? That size starts at $25. Definitely not in the Dave Ramsey budget. So I figured someone somewhere had to be getting rid of a pot that size. My goal was under $5 as that is all I paid for the plant in the first place.

So off to a neighborhood garage sale. What a lesson. We have too much junk in our world and then we try to sell it to someone else. I think baskets have babies in the middle of the night when no one is looking. And vases. Every sale had both. I went to one that looked like a department store. Wonderful displays, aisles to walk through and it was stocked! I complimented the older gentleman and he said its he and his wife's hobby- it took them three months to get ready.Imagine. Three months to get ready to sell stuff you don't need. Glad he's retired.

Another garage looked like a living room. The walls were a beautiful country red, stenciled with ivy, white shelves with assorted country knick-knacks. I ended up knowing the charming people that lived there and she told me that all the items on display in her garage had been gifts to her and she didn't want to give them away, yet had no room (or decor-theme) to put them in her home. What a great idea! I was doubly blessed by her as when I was leaving, I told her I was on a quest for a large pot. She said she had one in her basement- ran and got it and it was perfect!She wouldn't allow me to pay her for it, so I stayed within budget -yea!! I learned the lesson of patience once again. God will and does provide all I need (or want) in His timing- in a much bigger way usually! The pot was 17". I needed to wait...and trust...and be patient in the small things which is sometimes harder than the big things. I can't make a job happen for my husband, but I could have gone and bought the $25 pot. I'm glad I didn't so I could once again see God's faithfulness in action. I will continue to trust and wait for his plan for our finances.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Clutter Busting

I love summer. Sleeping til I wake up with no alarm, sitting with a cup of my favorite tea ( Constant Comment), in a special mug ( today, one from my sister from Starbucks), and playing endless games of Uno with my neighbor ( she continually beats me!).I am enjoying each unscheduled minute because June 24, I start teaching summer school- and my vacation is over!!!

My two precious blond haired 6 year old neighbors greeted me as I came home the other day. I could tell that they wanted to ask me something- you know by the coy looks and hesitant body language, so I asked them what was up. "Could you please get the raft in your back yard?" As the one boy has a pool next door, I thought maybe it had come over the fence, so I asked, "What raft?" "Your raft in the yard," he answered somewhat impatiently. I told him I don't have a raft. He said, "Yes you do, the one that swings." The light bulb went on and I started laughing as I said,"You mean the hammock!" Their faces lit up as they ran around the house to find my husband to put the "raft" up.

So I am doing fun things- going to visit my sister for a day, watching movies with my family, doing my nails with my daughter,sitting at my neighbor's pool, and clutter busting. My husband would call it getting rid of stuff I don't need, but I think clutter busting sounds like you are doing a lot more sophisticated work! The book that inspired me is called Clutter Busting Letting Go of What is Holding You Back by Brooks Palmer. Amazing book. I read it in two days and love the concepts. It refers to every area of your life from stuff, to emails to relationships. An easy read, not biblical, but definitely worth your time. I have a difficult time letting go of things (to say the least!)yet the way he explains how and why makes it so much easier. If you have any trepidation about uncluttering your life, this book would definitely help.

So I am off to bust some more clutter this morning. What do you need to clear out of your life? God is working on a bunch in me right now. How about you?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Summer!

As you can imagine by my not blogging, the past few weeks have been extremely crazy! The end of school- who's more excited, the kids, parents, or teachers? At the last bell in our school, a group of teachers went into the front foyer and jammed, twisted, rocked out to a ton of oldies! (we are approaching a median age of 50!!)Being the reserved person I am (haha), I clapped to about half a song and then hustled back to my room to get my reports done.

So part of our family is heading north for a few days. I 'm not sure I will get to blog or not, so I didn't want you all to give up hope that I was abandoning my posts.
Hopefully this summer , I plan on getting back into the daily routine of writing. I miss it.

Happy summer!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Silence

I haven't blogged for a few days, hope I don't lose all my followers.I've been in a lot of "states" lately and I haven't felt like putting down much on paper. And the time thing got in the way too. Anyway, I write with a heavy heart this morning as my cardinal outside my classroom window has been gone since Monday. I was hoping to come in and see little heads peering up with open beaks, waiting to be fed, but ...nothing. No eggs, no birdies, no mom. The nest is empty. As it is in an enclosed courtyard, I can't imagine that an animal of prey would have gotten it. Kids don't normally have access to this part, as it is up on a raised bed in the corner, that surely their teacher would see them rummaging in the bushes.

So I wonder? Did mom just get overwhelmed and fly the coop? I did know of a mom that did that once to her three kids, never did understand that. As frustrated and exhausting as it is raising children at times, I cannot imagine abandoning them for selfish pleasures of my own. (Although at times I know I dreamed of it in my head- who hasn't, as a mom of multiple children? You now you have!)
Or did she build her nest and find out she was unable to lay eggs? The sorrow of a barren womb is another life tragedy, having seen couples go through it, though not experiencing it on a personal basis, I can only imagine the heartache. Is that why she left?

I guess I will never know the answer, just as I won't know the answers to many questions that I have , until I get to heaven. I know God is patient, he'll have to be as my list keeps getting longer each day.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Update

Thought I'd take a day to recap some of the things I have blogged about. It will be quick as I have a meeting in ten minutes!
1. My friend with the "stroke". Apparently it was not. She is at home recouping wonderfully. Even is back to emailing. Praise God- truly a miracle.
2.Mommy cardinal is at her post. Haven't seen the eggs yet, but they must be there as she is spending a lot of bottom in the nest time.
3. Street Light #15. Still going off and waking me up. Have to call on that soon.
4. Still haven't done anything with the "roaches".
5. Can't remember what else. So what else is new?
Gotta run- Blessings on this rainy, rainy day. My husband is substitute teaching today- so he had to drop me off early ( at 6:45) so he could get to his job. Only to find out they had a two hour delay. In May?? Only in southern Indiana- flooded roads. So he can grab a cuppa joe and the paper and enjoy two extra hours. In his car in the parking lot. Wow.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Pillows of Goodness

It has become a wonderful ritual each night that it is not raining, to have a fire in our fire pit in our back yard. Even the young neighbors have joined us, asking where the marshmallow and Smore stuff is. Yesterday, we were out of marshmallows, but my little 8 year old neighbor goes into my house and miraculously found a bag of opened marshmallows that I didn't even know I had! It was the perfect ending to a "my heart is full" Mother's Day weekend. My girls were home, we cooked out twice and my son sent me a package and pictures from Utah, as well as having a long conversation with him on Sunday. I am truly a blessed mom.

Marshmallowing over the fire has become quite fun. My 20 year old doesn't like graham crackers, so she lovingly toasts the perfectly brown,crusty on the outside, gooey on the inside marshmallow, and then slides in the chocolate for a "pillow of goodness". She and her roommates first coined that phrase for raviolis, but I think it fits perfectly for her naked smores!

So it looks like we are "stay-cationing". That's where you stay at home for vacation and find all kinds of fun stuff to do right at home. Three of our neighbors have pools, and we have a fire pit. We have a wonderful public library, so I am set for the summer. What are your plans?

The Hidden Nest

Outside my school window is the cardinal nest that I have written about. It is finally finished, and the momma bird has been sitting in it this morning. I stood on a chair to see if I could see eggs in the nest when she took a break, and there were none. But she was back later, sitting, peering into my window. I wanted to get a picture of the nest from outside, so I walked into the courtyard. This creature is ingenious! You cannot see the nest from the other side. It is totally hidden in the bush, in the very corner of the building. I had to step up on a ledge,on mulch,(apologies to our custodian) and pull down branches to even get a glimpse from that side. If I had not seen it from my window, it would remain undetected from the world.
Have you ever felt that way? Wanting to make a little space to be hidden, where you can see out on the world, but no one can see you? Amazing that God built into the smallest of living things that desire for survival and solitude. Even when the wind blew, the bush swayed, yet this little nest stood firm. It even had a plastic wrapper hanging out of the bottom. Amazing. I look forward to checking on my invisible friends each moring. I'll let you know when the eggs arrive. I hope before school is out!
Blessings!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mother's Day

Bittersweet. That's what Mother's Day is to me. I am so blessed and thankful to be the mother of three amazing children (now young adults!). Yet I am sad as I lost my mother when I was 17- she died of breast cancer. So I have known my children and my mother-in-law much longer than I knew my own mom. Not that anyone can EVER take the place of your mother, but God has totally blessed me with a very loving step-mom and mother-in-law that I am extremely close with.

My mom-in-law and I can talk for hours...she was our son's first babysitter when I tearfully had to go back to work when he was 5 months old. Then we moved out of state when he was 17 months old and she accused us of kidnapping her baby! I am so thankful that someone who loves him as much as I do was able to see him take his first steps, and let me know every day what new trick he did! Thanks, Mama Gina.

And my step mom that parented me from afar, letting me know each time I talk with her (continuing today!) that she prays for me (and my family) each day, by NAME. Not generic- please bless them, but by name. That so speaks to me. Thanks, Mom.

So even if you don't have your mom with you, look for the wondrous people that God has put into your life to bless you in the absence of your mom. It might be a neighbor, or a mentor at church. As I get older, I also look for the younger person who may have lost their mom, and try to be there for them. I am so thankful for how God provides for me, and always has. So go hug your mom, tell her you love her. And if she's not there, find someone who is.

My friend came in this morning and introduced me to a song by Rascal Flats- I love the words, so I am copying them here from cowboylyrics.com. The song is called My Wish. She got it in a card for her daughter who is graduating from high school, but I think it is a great wish for our families also. Be blessed!

My Wish- Rascal Flats
I hope that the days come easy and the moments pass slow,
And each road leads you where you want to go,
And if you're faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.
And if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walkin' till you find the window,
If it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile,

But more than anything, more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

I hope you never look back, but ya never forget,
All the ones who love you, in the place you left,
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret,
And you help somebody every chance you get,
Oh, you find God's grace, in every mistake,
And you always give more than you take

This is my wish
I hope you know somebody loves you
May all your dreams stay big

(some verses are repeated in the full song)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Transparency

There is a pair of cardinals building a nest right outside my classroom window. The window doesn't open, but it does look out into a beautiful courtyard that is brimming with colorful flowers at this time of year. Enter a mama cardinal dragging pieces of straw, grass, whatever to make her nest. Daddy was out there helping too. The bush it is being built in is in the corner of the building, quite hidden from the tables and steps where children go out to sit and read when the weather permits. I'm sure these birds thought this was the perfect hiding place, where no one would see them and their new offspring once the eggs hatch.
However, I have a perfect view , separated by a thin piece of glass that allows me into their inner sanctum. I can even hear them chirping.I see their comings and goings. I have a perfect window into their lives.
It reminds me somehow of my relationship with God sometimes. I feel like I can hide in the bushes, where I can't be seen, doing my own thing, living in my own world. Yet He is there , inches away on the other side of the pane of eternity, me not hiding at all, but being in full view with my inner sanctum exposed. I can fly away, come back, and still be seen in open space.

Monday, May 4, 2009

ADHD

If you yourself don't have ADHD, I know you know someone who does! These are the interesting lil' guys that parents often say, "He's all boy!" Translation- his motor NEVER stops running and I am exhausted all the time! We often used to say about our son- he had two speeds- 100 miles per hour or zero...sleeping/crashed out. The difference between all boy and ADHD is that ADHD's motors never shut down- they are revving 24-7. Little sleep, constant movement. I work with these motors every day. And watching parents of ADHD kids is sobering, easily recognizable by the dark circles under their eyes.

The encouragement is that usually if the energy can be channeled, these are very creative, productive beings that are our future's out of the box thinkers. Have a problem? Toss it to someone with ADHD and look for a different perspective on how to solve it. There is a whole list of famous people who used their ADHD to their advantage. Remember JetBlue airlines? The founder of that(his name escapes me) invented the e-ticket as he continued to lose his paper airline ticket. Ingenious. The airlines now charge you if you USE a paper ticket rather than an e-ticket. Wonderful solution that revolutionized air travel as we know it.

So my hat's off to parents of kids with ADHD- you are remarkable to be able to juggle all that is involved with homework, organizational skills, social issues as well as a tremendous amount more. Some excellent resources are through Dr. Russell Barkley, Dr. Daniel Amen, and Dr. David Rabiner to name a few. Dr. Barkley's 30% rule is particularly enlightening.

Any specific questions? I have worked with ADHD students for over 20 years, as well as having personal friends and family members that have also experienced the blessings/difficulties of living with personally, or living with someone who has ADHD. I have lots of ideas and resources that may be able to help. I'd love to share with you- let me know how I can help.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hiding in the Woods



Hoosiers are a different breed. You will never find any more genuine, sincere, give you the shirt off their back people anywhere in the U.S. (that I have lived at least, and that is a lot of places!)Hoosier hospitality is definitely alive and well in Southern Indiana. Until it comes to Morrells.

Now I had never heard of a Morrell until I moved here 13 years ago (not even when I lived in Muncie or West Lafayette, two other IN cities). Apparently they are a to die for mushroom that until you die, no one else can know the exact spot to hunt for these conehead shaped fungi. I made the mistake during a conversation about them by asking, "So where do you find these things?" Dead silence. Astonished look. You would have thought that I had asked their bra size or how much they weighed. Obviously anyone with any kind of mushroom etiquette NEVER asks a person to divulge their sources. Oh my goodness.

I have tasted them. Once. When many years ago, a co-worker lovingly brought them in to share (one per person) for lunch. Delicious. Really good, if you like eating mold spores, which I happen to indulge in. A good friend of mine realized that as she is allergic to mold, she probably shouldn't be ingested it in mass quantities, thus abstaining.

The shocker is that these little suckers sell for something like $18.00 a pound!! When was the last time you ever paid $18 for a pound of anything (other than at a four star restaurant?) Someone else said that there is no way we should be charging other folks for something God gave us for free. That's the Hoosier spirit.

Yesterday I did have a coworker offer to come over and show me how to hunt in the woods on my property. Guess that would be OK as no one else has (or should) stake their claim on it. But there were two guys mysteriously walking in my woods last night, with two dogs and a suspicious looking plastic bag of brown "stuff". I'm not sure that they were cleaning up after their dogs, either. Maybe I need to post a No Hunting sign. Or charge a dollar for each one found.

Ahhh,the joys of being a Hoosier.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Moving On

Spring is the time of year when houses sell, it's a good time to move. Often new jobs dictate when you move, but it seems in coaching that alot of transitions/transactions happen in late winter, early spring, so the "For Sale" signs start to sprout on lawns. Our job changes have come at various times of the year. As we move into the close of the school year, (20 days left- yippee!!)I was thinking about the perfect time to move. It is not, I repeat NOT before the end of the school year. Please don't fall into any of the following myths:

I have to get my child in school so he /she will meet friends before the summer. Trust me. The kids your child may meet in school may not even live in your same neighborhood. As a parent, the worst choice I ever made was moving in May and enrolling my kids 5 weeks before school ended. Come on! As a teacher- what do you do with a student that has the sometimes trauma of moving, and then comes into a classroom where most of the 24+ kids have been together all year? Of course, the student is made to feel welcome, but it is very difficult to come into that type of situation as an adult, let alone a child. Advice? Wait until the fall when EVERYONE is new to their teachers, grade levels, etc. Friendships are formed much quicker that way than trying to fit in at the tail end of a year.

Advice? Get your child in some activity before you move, so when you arrive at the beginning of the summer, they will be able to meet kids their own age (softball, swim, golf, art lessons,etc.)
Throw a neighborhood party for kids- my husband went door to door, stopping parents on the street to find out the ages of their children. Once you meet one family, than the ripple effect begins.

There are also wonderful books written for children for varying age levels addressing the moving issue from the perspective of the child.(I will try to find some and let you know the titles-they escape me right now) The hardest move I had ever made was when my kids were 11, 7, and 4 because it wasn't just me picking up and leaving my friends and life, but the gut wrenching sobs of my children as they left their precious friendships also. The picture is embedded forever in my mind of my two sweet girls hugging and crying with my best friend's two sweet, precious girls on our front lawn the day we left Colorado. I don't know who cried harder or longer, but I do remember my husband asking as we drove through Nebraska and Kansas (on our way to Indiana) when we would ever stop crying. And those are loooonnnnggg states, believe me when you are driving in a van with three kids. I think my sniffles let up around St. Louis.

Anyway, finish out the school year, have a wonderful goodbye party and embrace the time you will share together with your family on this new adventure. NO schedules to follow- you can even pretend you are on vacation for the first few weeks until reality sets in. I firmly believe that each move strengthens your family ties- you have no one else to depend on. I always know my strength comes form the Lord, but never more than when I am in a new environment, totally out of my comfort zone with a family to take care of.

He goes before me, and He will go before you too- Trust Him!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Photo Friday




OK , so I am a few days late. I did take the photo on Friday and have been thinking and talking about it.
In southern Indiana, we have a beautiful tree called Redbud. Now the buds are actually purple, but they are outstanding against the spring green of the trees and bushes that are popping out. You know spring has arrived when you see the Redbuds. This year is the first time in 13 years that I have actually gone up close to a Redbud and looked at the individual flowers that make the beautiful color and backdrop against the rest of the trees. AMAZING!! Each individual "bud" looks like a miniature orchid!! Thousands of them on each tree.It is mind boggling to me to realize that if God m,akes that tiny,tiny bud so beautiful, for such a minuscule amount of time ( they soon, fade and leaves sprout green), how intricately he has woven each of us into this world for His purpose for us. And how incredibly beautiful each and every one of us has been created. So thank you Lord, for the Redbuds. And for each of us in our individuality.

Ugly dates




Had a few bumps in the road lately- not feeling well (chest pains, shoulder blade, can't take a deep breath). After freaking my Dr. out (WHY DIDN'T YOU GO TO THE ER????), all is fine except I still can't breathe very well, and my shoulder still hurts.So more tests this week (my dear Dr. calls from Las Vegas today to see if I got the results on Friday.I talked to her on Friday. Glad to see you can be young and still not remember anything). My self diagnosis is allergies and a strained muscle pull from the weights I carried walking Abbie around the park. We'll see.

In our teacher's lounge at school, there is a table where people put things they want to share (treats, goodies, books, bulletin board leftovers, etc). Friday there was a box that said take. Inside were delicious looking tomatoes and a baggie of some brown looking things. The two other teachers that were with me were pondering the identify of these ...brown looking... things. Being the adventurer that I am, (not!), I opened the bag and drew one out. Mmmm. Smells like a fruit-maybe a date?-as I bite into it, my friend says, maybe its a fig. BIG problem if it is, as I can't have seeds. So I take the remainder and kind of smoosh through it to see if there are any seeds. Nope! Must be a date. Actually kind of good. And on the $50 a week food budget, I am sure I can find something to do with the bag full. No problem. As I am walking back to class with my treasures, a teacher pops out of her office and says, Oh I see you got some tomatoes! I thanked her for them and the dates and she said that she left the bag of dates because to her they looked like....roaches!
Up to this point that thought had not entered my mind, but as I looked down at the bag of brown...looking ...things, I could see the resemblance. Now I have never seen roaches of this magnitude, except in National Geographic pictures, thankfully, but the shape and skin texture could possibly fall into the look alike category. (Have to save that idea for a Fear Factor party!) But I was thrilled to have my little package of dates to take home and create a recipe with.

Sometimes you have to overlook what is on the outside to get to the inside. Which reminds me of Susan Boyle, what an incredible story. But I think the world needs to enjoy her amazing voice and leave her outsides alone. Here is a perfect chance for society to learn a lesson on not judging a book by its cover, and acknowledging the beauty inside of someone, instead of trying to make her over. Enough said for today on that.

To finish my date story.

Enter my college age daughter. I told her I got free tomatoes and dates today at school. She apparently had never had a date and asked what they looked like. Perfect lead in,(right?) but I wanted to see her unbiased opinion. So I showed her and asked- what do you think? "Yuck! They look like roaches, Mom". She is not her mother's daughter.
OK, but they were free. My husband keeps telling me we have to make sacrifices. Wait til he sees what's for dinner.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Answer to prayer

Been trying to figure out a way to afford Jazzercise again.

Last Wednesday night my youngest (sophomore in college ) calls up and says "We're bored". That would be her friend and her. Bored? How can you be bored in college? There are a million things to do, and people to see. She has a car(mine) so she can go wherever. I, on the other hand am captive to sharing a car with my possessive husband. I don't think he trusts me driving his car. (Another post.) Anyway, I suggest a movie (they already missed the starting time),shopping (they don't need anything), the library. "THE LIBRARY?? Mom, I can't believe you just said that!" she shrieks loudly into the phone. I meant for her to get a video- they have a nice selection. Forgive me for suggesting a college student go to the library.
Anyway, they came over and we did a cute little mini-clipboard craft with scrapbook paper and ribbons- really fun. We are sitting on the floor sprawled out in the dining room when suddenly (sounds like a novel , right?) I have this overwhelming tight pressure on my chest, quite unlike anything that has happened before. Then pain in my back left shoulder (I thought I pulled a muscle).
Long story short, went to Dr.(who screamed at me for not going to ER) EKG normal, have to have echo cardiogram, lower my BP, cholesterol good, need to up my exercise.
Best news ever- have to do Jazzercise level intensity 3-5 times a week. I repeatedly asked my Dr.- I HAVE to do Jazzercise, right????? She finally said, "YES!" . So under Drs. orders, I get to renew my membership and attend with my youngest, who has really wanted me to continue with her. The Total Money Makeover did not have room in the budget for this, but, hey, it's Drs. orders. So now I have to figure out how to find $30 a month, but I trust that God will provide that.
Answer to prayer!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Is this what old people do?

Three cardinals are meandering from treetop to treetop as I look out over my backyard from my perch on the second floor in my dining room turned computer/scrapbook room. I love sitting here as it is so peaceful watching the trees and flowers bloom while the squirrels race from tree to tree chasing their comrades.

My husband was in his jammies at 7:15 last night. I fell asleep on the couch at 7:30.
"Is this what old people do?", my husband continues to ask.

I love it.

For 17+ years I was never allowed the luxury of a nap. Who can nap with babies/infants/toddlers/teenagers (especially teenagers!)??? If I wasn't running someone to practice, or a game, or an appointment, I was cooking. cleaning,(well, not so much),or washing laundry or dishes.

Not that I minded it. In fact when I was in that season of my life, I loved it, couldn't imagine myself doing anything else, and in retrospect, it went waaaay too fast. My nights are my own, I can choose to go to bed at 7:00 or stay up reading until midnight if I want. I am not scheduled by someone else's activities. If I want to stay home, I can stay home. Not like the weeks when I was gone every single night with a different place I had to be for someone else.

So if you are in the midst of I never get a nap, I am always on the run, always in the car, always exhausted mode, take heart and slow down.... It doesn't last forever, you WILL miss it at some point in your life, and you will get through it. Allow yourself the luxury of saying no. Your kids will grow up just fine if they're not on a travel team at age 8, or 10. Make family night a priority.Have family dinners. Make those memories. Kids won't remember how many games you dragged them to, but they will remember the day you had a picnic in the house because it was pouring down rain outside.

I do miss those days, am thankful I survived, and am content in my season right now. "For I have learned to be content..."
And tonight I am looking forward to doing what old people do.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Praise Music

I love music. Often when I am unable to put my feelings into words, or know how to pray, I will listen to praise music and immediately, my spirits are lifted, I can have a cleansing cry, or I am deeply moved by other's music or words. I was recently at a retreat and was given the CD, Arise A New Celebration of Worship, and have been totally blessed by it.

This morning on the way to work (I had the car today!), I listened to this song called I Will Sing by Don Moen. I had never heard of him before and he truly was a gift.Here are the words, copied from the insert in the CD. Lyrics.com does not have the words, but they have an awesome audio that allows you to listen to it-I hope it will bless you when you are in a far country...

I Will Sing
Don Moen

Lord you seem so far away
A million miles or more it feels today
And thought I haven’t lost my faith
I must confess right now
That it’s hard for me to pray
But I don’t know what to say
And I don’t know where to start
But as you give the grace
With all that’s in my heart

I will sing I will praise
Even in my darkest hour
Through the sorrow and the pain
I will sing I will praise
Lift my hands to honor you
Because your word is true
I will sing

Lord it’s hard for me to see
All the thoughts and plans
You have for me
But I will put my trust in you
Knowing that You died to set me free
But I don’t know what to say
And I don’t know where to start
But as you give the grace
With all that’s in my heart

Blessings for the day!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Street Light #15


There is a streetlight right outside my bedroom window. Eighteen steps away to be exact, I just counted. High enough to be even with my window , shining right in. This is OK , it has been for the last 12 3/4 years. I am used to it, kind of like a night light.

There in lies the problem. The last few weeks, it has had a mind of its own. It flickers and goes out, which is fine, except that IT WAKES ME UP!!! Don't ask me how, but when the light goes out (erratically, sporadically throughout the night), my eyes pop open. I am in total darkness. Not that I mind total darkness, but it is not normal. So I wake up. And have a hard time going back to sleep. Hard to explain to someone the next day the reason you are so tired is that a streetlight that wasn't on, kept you up.

Just so you don't think I am crazy (well, at least not in this instance), my neighbor even mentioned it. He said he noticed it was flickering and going on and off, and wondered how we sleep with it shining in our window. Funny you should ask, as it wasn't affecting me until it decided to go out.

So I figure there is a lesson in here somewhere. Do I wake up when my light goes out spiritually? If I am in a dark place, should my eyes be opened to see what is different about the way I am thinking, how I am acting? I've had difficulty praying lately. I know God hasn't moved, I have. I am thankful for this spiritual lesson. Usually when I wake up in the middle of the night, I feel there is someone I need to pray for. So I will use the time I am given to do that. Thank you #15.

And I will call the city utilities people on Monday.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Challenge


I'm always looking/thinking about what to blog about. So this morning I read on someone else's blog (I'm spending waaaay too much time reading others, but it is fun!) to choose the 6th folder from your pictures, and choose the 6th picture in that folder and write a blog about it.So here goes.
It is a picture of my youngest daughter, and her long time friend, now roommate, Maggie on the day of their high school graduation. Maggie's dad is in the background right between their heads. Randy. What a sweet man. I dearly love Maggie (and my daughter of course). It is so fitting that this is a picture of them because they are now roommates in a house close to campus, and they periodically read my blog and have a good laugh. Wait til they see this one!
Anyway, I have fond memories of these two being friends since the 2nd grade when we moved to Bloomington. They have stuck by each other through thick and thin, ups and downs, puberty, and now college life. We all need friends like that. They have so many inside jokes, and I know that I am at the heart of a lot of them. For some reason they find me and my antics funny. Anyway, before I get too sentimental, I will be looking forward to seeing them in the same pose at the same place dressed in red and white for their college graduation in a very short two years.

Everyone needs a Maggie. Who is yours?

So I challenge you to the 3rd folder, 3rd picture. What's in your wallet?

And I am so excited, I figured out how to add a picture!! This will open up a whole new world!!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Praises!

Taxes are done.(Well, American, still have to finish Canadian)
Neighbor/friend gave me a dress to borrow. And it fits!
She also gave us a great vacuum (sweeper)cleaner, so I don't have to lug one up and down the stairs.

Cardinals

The Cardinals are back.

This morning on the way to work in my “prayer canopy” ( the last stretch before school that is covered with trees where I turn off the radio and pray for the day), I saw a cardinal. This has always been a reassurance from God that He is in control and cares about what happens to me- I thanked him for that sign, and then saw another one right before I left the canopy! God is so amazing- encouraging us daily. Who can I encourage today? Who’s cardinal can I be?

I wrote this sometime last spring-but it continues to happen. Yesterday there were two HUGE cardinals flying back and forth in front of our house. I watched them soar from tree branch to tree top and circle around, and then repeat the pattern. Then walking the dog in the park, I saw more cardinals. They are out in full force. I guess God knows that I need that double, triple reassurance that He is there with me. Us. My husband's job situation and our finances.Our car situation. My kids and their individual needs. My students- oh my. My step-dad's health situation. My friends' burdens. A young widower with two young babies whose wife died in childbirth. I know God has already worked out all the answers to all these life-ings, in His timing, not mine. But my heart becomes heavy at times, particularly for others and their needs.

So I appreciate the cardinals and look for them each day.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Blogdom

Blogging. I haven't been doing this very long, but I do enjoy it. I am branching out and reading others blogs also, and I came to a startling revelation.

I'm old.

Now I don't want to think that I am old, but the truth of the matter is MOST of the blogs I am interested in and visiting are by much younger women. Who have their lives all put together. Have amazing husbands, beautiful children, Martha Stewart homes, and must spend literally hours each day putting stuff on their blogsites. Now I truly enjoy reading all the cool sites that have links to everywhere, and contests, and freebie giveaways, etc, but if I recall correctly when I had three kids at home, and NO computer, I still didn't have two minutes to myself.I want to know their secret.

So I am putting a plea out there for all you over 50 (or close) women that do blog- perhaps I'm in the wrong circle of bloggers...Where are you??? Those that can relate to the weeble wobbles that have appeared where my upper arms used to be, that have "fur" on the side of your face (that came out of nowhere- I didn't realize I had it until my youngest strokes my cheek in Jazzercise class tonight and points it out to me, and everyone else within hearing distance). And the waking up in the middle of the night (not for a crying child, but because somehow in the middle of the night, the heat got turned up.)I'm kind of over the gray hair thing as I started to turn in my teens and am now snow white- I only have to worry about using purple shampoo so my hair doesn't turn green or yellow like you see on old (er) people who DON'T use purple shampoo.

Anyway, all in all today was a good day- Fed and State taxes done, filed, paid (ouch!!) Just have to finish up the Canadian ones. Were you in the red or black this year? Or is it not politically correct to ask? I'm going with my friend's adage, I'm over 50, I can be old and bold. Maybe I'll even find some bloggers that are older than me. You never know.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Going Green

There is so much talk these days about "going green". What's funny is that all the stuff I was use to doing anyway is now in vogue. Go figure. For once I was just ahead of the times I guess.

I've shopped at Goodwill forever.I cut the ends off of toothpaste tubes. I refill water bottles.I recycle. I gladly take my friend's castoffs when they are remodeling, redecorating, etc. In fact, most of my house is other people's stuff! (Thank you dear friends for all your donations). So hopefully my frugleness (sp?)is helping to save the planet, as well as my budget.

So what do you do to be green? I'm always looking for more suggestions. Especially now when green cash is a little tight at our house.I recently read a blog where a family made the commitment to not buy anything new (other than food...) for an entire year. Yes, she has younger kids which may be easier to find used clothes or gifts for, but it is an interesting concept. Perhaps I could try it for a month? There's not much fluff in our envelope system right now, so I haven't been buying much anyway. I can start today.

Anyone have a dress I can borrow for a wedding I have to go to in May?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Procrastination

Who else works best under pressure? I continually find myself with tons of things to do and no time to do it until the zero hour. Then I stress, get crabby and become miserable for all those around me. Taxes are due in two days. Yikles! Where did all the time go? Seems like I have been working on them forever, but here it is with two days to go and they are not done. And they HAVE to be done. I suppose I could take the cowards way out and file an extension, but as we owe, that means we would just owe more. And then I'm mad because we owe. Did you know that Americans are "surtaxed" an additional 48% of the taxes that you owe in Canada? And then you only get to write off one third of what you paid in Canada on your American taxes. NOT FAIR.Enough of my soapbox. At least we had an income to pay taxes on. I have to look at the bright side.

So how do you deal with the tax thing? Take it to an accountant? Had we had to pay ours last year, it would have been over $600.(We got in on a free teacher's week) And I found mistakes in their report.Have you become an expert yourself? What are some tips on how I can get them done sooner? (One hangup was the Canadian T4 didn't come until last week- theirs is not due until April 30th).
I think I'll go eat some chocolate.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, He is risen!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Pests

I'm doing a bible study called Ridding Yourself of Pests, addressing all the bad habits in your life. I am also trying to rid my house of those little pantry pests, I think that is what they are called. They come in cardboard, love flour, sugar, anything they can find to snack on. I totally cleaned out my pantry- down to nothing, put all new items in sealed containers, and I still have the little buggers. I was down to one or two this winter, and now that spring is upon us- they are out in full force. Where do they hide? What makes them come out? I am baffled. I don't like to use chemicals, so does anyone know a natural way to get rid of these annoying insects in my life?

Trying to relate this to spiritual matters, I know that I harbor many annoying pests inside of me. And they come out when I least expect it. No matter how hard I try to get rid of certain things, they continue to pop up at the least expected times. Just when I think that issue is dead, it takes off in flight. Kind of like these pesky pantry pests. (Say that fast 10 times!)

Take stock of what is in your spiritual pantry. Do you have annoying pests that continue to have life? What is your way of ridding yourself from them? I'll take any suggestions. I'd love to start this spring/time of new birth through Christ's resurrection with a clean pantry. How about you?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Time in a bottle

The James Taylor's song keeps running through my mind. My younger blogger readers may not have ever heard it. (Hi girls!)
Side note- I get a text (wonderful way to keep in touch with my kids- they respond to texts when they can't/won't/don't answer the phone)from my 23 year old that says "you blog I want to barf". Not taking offense, I figure she really doesn't understand the blogging world. About half an hour later I get a call from her and I can't understand a word she is saying. My first thoughts are that something horrible has happened. I can't understand her, she is crying/ not talking, gasping for air.I finally make out the words...your bloooooog!!!!! She is laughing hysterically. Now when she laughs, it is the most wonderful sound in the world. Until it moves into "the cackle", then everyone around her is infectiously affected and then no one can stop laughing.So we had a good cry/laugh at my expense. SO what else is new? Love you guys.

Any way, I started to write about how fast time flies. Seems like yesterday I was having babies, then raising babies, then sending them off to college babies.Days blur into weeks, weeks into months and suddenly I am a year older. I don't like this, but it does beat the alternative. My mom's life was cut short because of breast cancer at age 42, so I know every year after that has been a gift for me.

Oops, talking about time flying. My chauffeur is ready to take me to school, must run, more later. Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I need to accept the facts

OK. For years now I have been referring to the dog in our house as my daughter's dog. She's the one who begged for it, promised to take care of it, etc. We got the dog when she was a junior (in Dec.) in high school. Year and a half later she goes off to college. For four years, working in Michigan for the summers. So guess who gets to take care of the dog? Her sister, my husband and I. Three years later her sister goes to college in Ohio, my husband takes a job in Canada for eight months, and I am left with the dog. Just me and the dog. And I don't even like dogs.

Somehow , by default, I have become this dog's caretaker. I feed her, walk her and clean the gunk out of her ears. (Triple yucko). She waits for ME to take her out, even when there are now other people in the house. I keep reminding myself that someday, Kelly will get a job and be able to take the dog to live with her. No more black hairs all over the house! No more underwear and socks in the middle of the living room! No more growling when my husband (or anyone) wants to hug me- (she's very protective).

We were discussing this at dinner tonight. I mentioned that I really may have to come to the realization and accept the fact that I now have a dog. Kelly may not want to (or be able to) take her with her, and despite the fact that I'm not really attached to her, the dog's attached to me. It may break her heart to not have the park to run in, the squirrels and birds to chase, the neighbor kids to love on her.
The college grad student that lives with us had the astute awareness to say, " I'd only been here two weeks when I realized that Abbie may be Kelly's dog, but YOU are her human." Great.

So now I am an animal's human. I'm still working on accepting that fact.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Disturbing News

I heard a most disturbing item in the news this morning as I drove to work. There are studies now that show people actually do start looking like their dogs. I had heard that married couples start to look alike, (when does this start to happen, and why- do the foods we eat morf us into clones? Or is it watching the same TV programs? We never do other than 24 ,or is it by osmosis when we are sleeping?) Anyway, I could see that maybe married couples have the same mannerisms or expressions, but my DOG???

So I started to think about it. Actually, since I am prematurely gray,(at what point is it no longer considered premature, I ask?) my black lab's hair color does seem appealing as it is close to my original hair color. And my family has always teased me about my nose, but surely another dog's snout may be more apropos than a Labrador, although I do have an incredible sense of smell. I can tell two blocks away if my husband has been smoking a cigar.(Double yuck.) I have blue eyes, the dog's are brown. She has long floppy ears, I'd like to think if mine are considered long, at least they are not floppy. Not at this age anyway, but did you know that cartilage never stops growing? So your ears and your nose will continue to grow until you die. Sobering thought, that I may be wasting away on my deathbed with huge ears and an even bigger nose. God does shave a sense of humor.

Maybe I'll start looking more like my dog than I thought. I wish someone had told ne that before we got a lab.

So do you resemble your dog? Why did you choose your dog? My walks in the park will never be the same as I say hello to the dog owners I meet there.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hi ho hi ho, it's off to Chrysalis I go

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go...oh my, it looks like I am moving to college. Literally the whole half of the living room is piled with my junk for camp.
I am working on a Chrysalis "Flight" , a wonderful, amazing high school/college age retreat for young Christian girls. It starts Thursday night, runs through Sunday , consisting of 15 talks, some by clergy, some by adults, some by youth. It is incredible to see God at work in the transformation in some girls from the time they arrive Friday morning, until they are able to share about their experience on Sunday night. You can see the change in their faces, in the way they walk,hear it in their voices.
They also offer this for boys, as well as the adult version,"Walk to Emmaus". I had a dear friend come home from her walk ( love ya Bets!) and she was on a spiritual high for weeks, maybe months. O remember her commenting on how vivid the colors of God's creation are, pointing it out to everyone she saw! Look at the green grass, look at the trees! Unfortunately not everyone had had that same experience, so she may have gotten some unusual stares. But I loved the awakening that she brought back to everyday life. It was as if God had removed a filter and allowed her to see the world through His technicolor vision.What a joy to be around someone so entusiastic about the world God created.

As I look out my window this morning at the daffodils and budding trees, I pray that the girls' eyes will be opened to all God wants them to see this weekend. With everything our younger generation has to face , let this be a weekend to reconnect with God and see the world through His eyes.

Fly with Christ!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Miracle update

Quick note- God is amazing!(see previous post on You Never Know) Beckie's heart is functioning normally (it may not have been a heart attack) or maybe it was and God totally healed her!! She is responsive - squeezing her husband's hand, smiling at her daughters and turning her head to a friend's voice. She has been upgraded to "guarded" condition. Her kidneys have started functioning and they are continuing doing tests to see how her brain is functioning! This can only be a miracle as on Monday she was on life support with no brain activity, if the reports were correct.
Thanks for prayers- please continue to hold her before the Lord- I'd love to see her at my training on April 18th!!

Girly stuff

I wake up to my husband complaining about all the "girly stuff" on my bathroom counter. I told him I needed it all to get ready in the morning. You can't possibly need all that stuff. OK I get it, guys are different...they need soap,(also used as shampoo-yucko), toothpaste and deoderant,(if they wear it). Boom, out the door.

Not so with women. I once heard we put 30+ chemicals (I think it was higher, but I didn't have time to research)each day on our bodies. So I kept track this morning.
In the shower: Soap, shampoo,face wash, shaving cream (I'm out, so I used body wash),sugar scrub for the heels,done).Now to the sink: toothpaste, 1006 ( skin cleanser, awesome stuff, I've been using it for the last 43 years), eye makeup remover, face lotion, bronzer (now you know my secret, I didn't get to go to Florida for spring break), soap to wash the bronzer off my hands, under eye cover, foundation, blush, eye shadow, mascara.

Now for the hair: gel, before I dry, poufy stuff when dry, spray to set it ( side note- lice are repelled by hair "products" one of my occupational potential hazards, want to be protected!). Last but not least deoderant. Oh, I forgot body lotion, "Say Yes to Carrots" my choice this morning- Amazing stuff my friend gave me for Christmas- rubbing veggies on your skin has got to be good, right?

Wow. That's let's see....21. Have you read the labels on this stuff??? There may be closer to 100 chemicals in all of those products. And I consider myself pretty low maintenance, I can be out the door in 20 minutes if I have to. And have on occasion when my husband and I are sharing a car and the subfinder calls at 6 a.m. and we have to leave by 6:30. The other 10 minutes are walking the dog and grabbing a breakfast and lunch!

So what is your routine? How many chemicals are you exposing yourself to? Is there a better way? I'd love to hear your suggestions.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

You never know

Life is incredibly precious. When I got news yesterday that a colleague of mine had collapsed and been rushed to the hospital by ambulance, had been revived with no brain activity, and they were waiting for her family to arrive to take her off life support, I was shaken to the bone. She's only a few years older than me. I had just sat next to her through a three hour training last Wednesday. We whispered and wrote notes, planning for another meeting. I just emailed her yesterday. I'm supposed to see her at a meeting on Wednesday, and another training in April.

We never know when our last conversation will be with someone, our last time to see them, our last opportunity to share our faith with them. Makes me look at my daily activities in a whole new way. What were my last words to my husband, kids, friends, co-workers. Would that be what I want them to remember?

Only God knows how this will all turn out, but there was a prayer vigil for her yesterday at the hospital, and the latest word I got this afternoon was that things were looking better, not worse. I do believe in miracles, and maybe this is one that I will be allowed to witness. God does hear prayers, please add Beckie and her family to your list. Whatever the outcome, whether Beckie will be in the Lord's hand soon, or allowed to remain here for a while longer, I hope she will remember that our last words together were encouraging.

Who do you need to talk with, encourage, make amends? Do you have a Beckie? I know I need to get on the phone tonight.You never know.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Birthdays

Today is my son's 27th birthday, and my sister's 42nd. Yep- our firstborn was born on my sister's 15th birthday. She's closer to him in age than I am - scary thought! My nephew was born on my 27th birthday. Do any of your extended families have the same birthdates? I think that is such a special bond.

Hard to believe that 27 years ago I was in the hospital becoming a mom for the first time. I still have the notebook with every entry as to what time I nursed him, how long he napped, when I changed his diaper, and what color and how much his bowel movements were. I'm sure he'll want to share that with his future children.

So Happy Birthday to my favorite son (one and only) and sister. May you both be blessed this year by all that God has in store for you.

You are loved.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Taxing Road Trip

To go or not to go today- that is the question. I wish that phrase would stop running through my head.



My husband is the master planner. He has files full of planned trips and vacations that he hopes to take someday. I must say we have been on some pretty amazing adventures. Today's day trip is to a sleepy town on the river to a restaurant with a beautiful view, followed by a trip through another small town loaded with antique shops (to window shop- remember we are on the Total Money Makeover).With a possible side trip thrown in to Hadley Pottery, one of my favorites. Sounds romantic, doesn't it?



My hesitation? TAXES. They are looming over my head, the monkey on my shoulder, the ever present feeling that I will not be able to get them done. I have already put in countless hours and they are still not done. I'm still waiting on the T4 from Canada (equivalent to our W2), so I guess I have that excuse. And Turbo Tax's prices go up on the 28th -oh wait that is today (what a rip...you get started and then are punished for not finishing two weeks before you have to file!)So now I have to decide also if I want to pay more by waiting to pay the taxes that I already owe on. I hate taxes.



Last year we went to a company that offered free tax prep for teachers. It took our guy forever to figure out the Canadian part ( they had never done that before). Everyone in the office knew us by name whenever we went in ( many, many, many times). I could imagine what they were bemoaning the day we walked through the door, and I felt so bad for everything they went through that I ended up baking them cookies. Who takes cookies to their tax man? That's how bad I felt. Needless to say, I did not see an offer this year for them to do free taxes for teachers. So sorry, they did an incredible job and we are very thankful that they stuck it through to the bitter end. If there was an offer this year, I'm sure there was a disclaimer for American taxes only. Who does your taxes- are you a do it yourselfer, or do you have a tax guru?



Back to my decision. As I work best under pressure, I am choosing to go with my husband. I'm thankful he likes to do these little adventures. That's what the empty nest is all about, right? Spending time together after you no longer have to be running kids to ball games , appointments , and play dates. Leisurely drives in the country, rediscovering what brought us together in the first place, rekindling those first days of our courtship when we wandered aimlessly through antique stores together, searching for treasures hidden away in the back room somewhere. The taxes can wait. I'm going to spend time with my treasure.

Please share what you do with your husband to rekindle the romance. I'd love to hear.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Worry

To worry or not to worry, that is the question. Whether tis nobler..(somehow that phrase keeps going through mind.) I'm doing a Bible study called Controlling Your Pests ( Ridding Your Life of Bad Habits) by Ross Brodfuehrer. Today's lesson was on worry. We are told very specifically in the Bible, not to worry. So why do we? I'm kind of over worrying about the big things-death, taxes. Both of those are inevitable and out of my control. Taxes- way out of control, that's a whole different story, and country. It is amazing what you find out about the tax system when you have income from out of our country. More than you don't want to know....

Matt.6:34 tells us, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." So what are your greatest treasures? Mine are my kids, husband, extended family and friends. So where are most of my worries? With them. The older kids get, the more there is to worry about. My almost 27 year old son has recently taken up mountain bike riding. In Utah- BIG mountains, narrow paths, a mother's nightmare. He is so enthusiastic about it that I have to keep the quiver out of my voice when he tells me about his adventures. Probably the less I know the better. And I thought sending him off to kindergarten was hard.

Then there is the aging parent thing. Many of my dear friends have gone through extremely difficult circumstances that I have yet to face. When it will happen and what it will look like for me ?

There are the life decision worries for myself , husband, and my kids- jobs, retirement, relationships, education, happiness, the list goes on. So I thought about what worrying has done/ not done for me. I want to try the bullet option, so here goes:

Worrying
  • Doesn't change anything
  • Causes stress
  • Takes my focus off what is important
  • Drives people crazy when I am complaining all the time (ask my husband)
  • Makes me bake
  • Makes me gain weight ( see above)
  • Keeps me awake at night
  • Racks up my phone bill (well it use to, now it uses up my minutes)
  • takes my focus off my trust in God
  • turns hair gray-oh wait, already there
  • makes for bad manicures
  • makes me tired

There is a diddlybop thing (like the That Was Easy Staples thing) that sits on my desk at work that says worry with a not sign through it and it plays this song ( sorry, don't know who to give credit to):

Push button; you hear lively Jamaican music, a man, whistling , singing:

"Here's a little song I wrote . Might want to sing it note by note, don't worry be happy."

And I push it again and again and again.

If I worry, I am not content. So I will trust and continue to be content even in my state of worry.

Christmas

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The State of Relaxation in Florida

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About Me

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Mover extraordinaire (is that a word?), happily married to a football coach for 31 years. Mother of three amazing children,(one still on the payroll) and one daughter-in-law. Teacher (special education),speaker, presenter, writer. One of my passions is sharing with others to encourage them. Another is chocolate, especially M&Ms.