Tuesday, June 30, 2009

How to start a business?/ How to start a Life?

As you know I am seriously trying to figure out how to get this business( with my recnac (cancer) gifts) out there and more available? I was studying about where to really begin. I guess we have begun some, we are already selling from our home and the hospital, but we are slowly coming to a division in the road on how and where to take it from here?
As I was looking up strategies, I found this one... and I have to admit, I believe if we followed these suggestions that not only will we have a thriving business but we will have a thriving life too! 

The first one is to know where  you are. Concerning life I would add, where did I come from?.

Next is you need to know where you want to be. Concerning life I would add, why am I here and what type of life do I want?

The last is to figure out how to get there. Concerning life I would add, what type of life do I have and where am I going with that type of life?  

Strategy is very simple:

  • You need to know where you are
  • You need to know where you want to be
  • You than need to figure out how to get there.

"The starting point is easy, you are about to start or have just started a business. The problem with a lot of start up companies is a very poor definition of where they want to be. So you need to define where you want to be and be as specific as possible in the form of targets and milestones.

The targets are specific and measurable, the milestone are the key things you need to achieve in the first and second year and illustrate the highlights in the “story” of your business. "

I couldn't help but think life is a lot like a new adventure or investment. You will get exactly what you put into it, effort and time. I think no one can start over... but we can make a whole new beginning, that's important to realize so that you don't feel stuck and without a vision. With this simple exercise for our business, I realized that we should all do these same exercises with our lives. We need to have targets and goals that are specific and measurable. We need to accomplish certain MILESTONES in our lives, in order to progress.

Remember "HOME IS WHERE OUR STORY BEGINS"

Hopefully we can all take a minute to evaluate our life, and see if we know where we are? See if we know what we want in life? And last but not least, study, pray, search to know exactly how to obtain the life that we want. I personally know, it can make all the difference in the world to find the answers to all 3 of those questions.

Now many of you have asked when my blog or web site will be up and running ...with photos?  Well, I do appreciate you patience, computers are not quite my thing and so I have to rely on dear friends and family to help me and guess what? They have lives too, so I have to wait my turn.

I did however include photos of 2 of our gifts. The first one is our tea/coasters. Many times with cancer you are encouraged to drink more tea. This package comes with two and the coaster has a cute pocket in it, that holds the tea and you just flip it over and magic...you have a coaster too. It's a neat gift and of course my favorite part is the inspirational quote that comes with it ...

"A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water."  ~Eleanor Roosevelt

The next gift is one of my favorites and one that I still use...the Seat Belt Covers. I couldn't believe how much it hurt to have the pressure of the seat belt against me after my biopsy and it got even worse, after surgery and radiation. These are important too, not just cute. I asked many woman in the hospital waiting room with me (remember you are there every day for 7 weeks) what they did to find comfort while wearing a seat belt? I was shocked, one woman said that she uses a blanket shoved in under the seat belt, another lady said she shoved her coat or a pillow under there. But the worst was, many of the woman just flat out said... they don't wear their seat belts at all, it hurts too much. I felt sad that a woman would survive cancer and then get seriously hurt in a a car accident. So these were created.

mail mail

Thanks for your constant help and support, I couldn't make it without it!

 

"My path has not been determined. I shall have more experiences and pass many more milestones"
Agnetha Faltskog

"It's when ordinary people rise above the expectations and seize the opportunity that milestones truly are reached."
Mike Huckabee

"I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination."  ~Jimmy Dean

"A goal without a plan is just a wish"    ~ Larry Elder

 

 

 

OUR LOGO

I probably should have included this part in my post last night, but it was already pretty long. Here is the logo that Brad designed for me (luckily that is what he is going to school for... Graphic Design). I asked him to design something for this business, that would let someone know right off that it was designed from a survivor for the next survivor. I also wanted something that would remind them that they are loved and not fighting this battle alone, I was blown away when he came up with this. I love it! Then he said we needed a tag line. I really didn't know about all that, but thankfully he did. So our tag like is ...TO TAKE THE FEAR OUT OF CANCER.  He set it  up like you were looking up recnac in the dictionary, the word recnac ( is one we made up) but it is definitely a verb, we are trying to teach people to take power out of the word cancer and give some of that power back to themselves. Cancer has too much power, and if you aren't careful it will take over your life and take away any joy that you have. Living through and after cancer is our goal. Whether you live 1 week or 20 years, we hope you live it to the fullest, with as much hope and happiness as you can. If you aren't really careful, cancer will take away many of those things, that is why this poem is also on EACH AND EVERY tag. I will attach it at the bottom.

I have already have had some of you comment back on business ideas, thank you soooo much! I pray that this is something that will go far and reach many, many survivors and their families. Our goal is to help them overcome the fear and to give them to live each day to the fullest, no matter how many days they have left.

"YOU DON'T GET TO CHOOSE HOW YOU'RE GOING TO DIE OR WHEN. YOU CAN ONLY DECIDE HOW YOU'RE GOING TO LIVE"    ~ Joan Baez

mail "When my Mom told me of her idea to create gifts for cancer patients, I was surprised that it was an original idea. And after seeing her experience cancer for the second time, and how she always had to improvise to make herself comfortable, I realized the importance of this project. I was excited to participate by creating the logo.
The actual design of the logo was derived from the cancer ribbons and the idea of two people hugging. My thought behind the whole design, was simply to convey the same message of love and healing that my Mom showed our family during her battle. If you look long enough at the logo you can see two ribbons creating a heart in the middle. I wanted to design something that was simple and symbolic of the attitude in which this project was created.
Our family made up the word "recnac", which is cancer spelled backwards, because we found that it took the fear out of the word cancer. I hope you find the same simple yet powerful message of hope this logo offers those whose lives are affected by the disease."   
           ~ Brad Woodard 2009

 

What Cancer Cannot Do

Cancer is so limited...
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot shut out memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot reduce eternal life.
It cannot quench the Spirit.

                            ~ unknown

Monday, June 29, 2009

How to keep our business growing?

Many of you know that since my cancer I have developed a line of gifts (with a dear friend of mine) that have helped me be more comfortable, heal or just make me feel better. They started out as just a way to survive my mastectomy and radiation side effects. Then one night I thought, why couldn't these gifts be available to other survivors. They must have some of the same hurdles that I am having in my healing process. Then of course as you know, I LOVE QUOTES...they inspire me, and so we decided to put an inspiration quote on each gift. With each process in my healing, I seemed to think of something else that I needed or could use that would make the process more comfortable.

One long and painful night, I realized that I was only thinking of Breast Cancer patients, because that is the fight I was battling. But what about other cancers (there are so many different ones out there), what about children that have to fight this terrible battle? What could we do to help ease their pain or at least take them to a place in their imaginations... that would help them be more brave? The ideas started really clicking, and I could hardly wait till morning to call my dear friend who was helping me with this dream.

I first started showing the gifts and selling them to the nurses and workers at the hospital. It was such a success that I decided to take them to the Gift Store, to see if they would start carrying them. They chose 6 out of 21 of our gifts and we were thrilled. Then with them being in the gift store we had a better chance of the cancer patients being able to get them. We had our BIG introduction of our products on June 4th at Evergreen Hospital. It went really well and we sold quite a bit. More important we were able to share our thoughts and hopes for the products and the patients that they could help. We were able to explain the name RECNAC to everyone and introduce our LOGO that my son designed. It was a neat experience and one that we hope will continue to grow.

My question to all of you is this.... Do any of you have any tips on beginning a business? Do any of you know how I find someone to help invest in a business?  I have very limited resources and energy, but I don't want to give up this dream. If you have the time or information, will you email me and let me know your suggestions? My email address is

 learningfromlynn@gmail.com

I realize that I also need to do my homework ...like know how far I want to go with this business. The hard part is my energy and remembering, to do the things that feed me good energy! When I think about the business part, papers, money that isn't the best energy! But when I think about the patient (survivor), the selling, the designing and making it available and affordable to everyone that is battling with this terrible disease of cancer then ...........that is GOOD (GREAT) ENERGY for me! But I don't do the sewing, which is how each gift gets made and I have to respect that my dear friend can only do so much. Yet,the business has been great for her and her family. That is where we are, a little bit in limbo but... remember I will take ANY IDEAS or SUGGESTIONS.

Thanks for your support, hopefully I will have photos for you soon on my web site, so you can actually see what I am talking about  www.recnacgifts.com 

"Whatever we expect with confidence becomes our own self-fulfilling prophecy"  ~ Brian Tracy

"The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting goals and achieving them. Even the most tedious chore will become endurable as you parade through each day convinced that every task, no matter how menial or boring, brings you closer to fulfilling your dreams."   ~Og Mandino

 

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Crying is good for you.

I don't know if it is because I am getting older or what, but I seem to cry easier than I used to. I have always had a tender heart, but sometimes I wonder if I am losing it when I cry with anyone or about almost anything? I have a great imagination I guess. I can imagine how they feel or how bad they hurt and I can cry for or with them.

When we sold our RECNAC (cancer spelled backwards) gifts at the hospital, our biggest seller was our tissue holders, maybe because everyone needs to cry some times, why not have a cute and bright tissue holder to have in your purse or pocket. I think one of the reasons that I love the tissue holder the best is, because of the inspirational quote it has on it. It says... "PERHAPS OUR EYES NEED TO BE WASHED BY OUR TEARS ONCE IN A WHILE, SO THAT WE CAN SEE LIFE WITH A CLEARER VIEW AGAIN."   ~ Alex Tan

I found this article on crying and tears and I have to admit I am happy to hear that crying is actually good for you, maybe there is hope for me yet!

7 Healthy Reasons to Cry Your Eyes Out

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By Therese Borchard

In his intriguing article, "The Miracle of Tears" (answersingenesis.com), in which I found some of the research for this gallery, author Jerry Bergman writes: "Tears are just one of many miracles which work so well that we taken them for granted every day."

Here, then, are seven ways tears and the phenomenon we call "crying" heal us physiologically, psychologically, and spiritually.

Tears Help Us See

clip_image002The most basic function of tears is that they enable us to see. Literally. Tears not only lubricate our eyeballs and eyelids, they also prevent dehydration of our various mucous membranes. No lubrication, no eyesight.

Tears Kill Bacteria

No need for Clorox wipes. We’ve got tears! Our own antibacterial and antiviral agent working for us, fighting off all the germs we pick up.

Tears contain lysozyme, a fluid that the germ-a-phobe dreams about in her sleep, because it can kill 90 to 95 percent of all bacteria in just 5-10 minutes!

Tears Remove Toxins

Biochemist William Frey, who has been researching, found in one study that emotional tears —those formed in distress or grief—contained more toxic byproducts than tears of irritation (think onion peeling). Are tears toxic then? 

No! They actually remove toxins from our body that build up courtesy of stress. They are like a natural therapy.

Crying Can Elevate Mood

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Do you know what your manganese level is? Neither do I. But chances are that you will feel better if it’s lower because overexposure to manganese can cause bad stuff. The act of crying can actually lower a person’s manganese level. And just like with the toxins I mentioned in my last point, emotional tears contain 24 percent higher albumin protein concentration--responsible for transporting small (toxic) molecules--than irritation tears.

Crying Lowers Stress

Tears really are like perspiration, in that exercising and crying both relieve stress. In his article, Bergman explains that tears remove some of the chemicals built up in the body from stress, like the endorphins leucine-enkaphalin and prolactin. The opposite is true too. Bergman writes, "Suppressing tears increases stress levels, and contributes to diseases aggravated by stress, such as high blood pressure, heart problems, and peptic ulcers.

Tears Build Community

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In her "Science Digest" article, writer Ashley Montagu argued that crying not only contributes to good health, but it also builds community. I know what you’re thinking: "Well, yeah, but not the right kind of community. I mean, I might ask the woman bawling her eyes out behind me in church what’s wrong or if I can help her, but I’m certainly not going to invite her to dinner."

I beg to differ. As a prolific crier, I always come away astounded by the resounding support of people I know, and the level of intimacy exchanged among them. Tears help communication and foster community.

Tears Release Feelings

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Even if you haven’t just been through something traumatic or are severely depressed, the average Joe goes through his day accumulating little conflicts and resentments. Sometimes they gather inside the limbic system of the brain and in certain corners of the heart. Crying is cathartic. It lets the devils out before they wreak all kind of havoc with the nervous and cardiovascular systems. As John Bradshaw writes in his bestseller "Home Coming," "All these feelings need to be felt. We need to stomp and storm; to sob and cry; to perspire and tremble."

 

Isn't that interesting? So maybe being a cry baby...isn't such a bad thing after all. I will say that for sure, I realize the fact that tears build community. So many of you have been with me through this whole cancer battle and you have seen, heard and felt many of my tears. In turn you have supported and comforted me and I am forever grateful for that. Thank you for always being there. Good night and call me if you need any tissues! :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Example

When I read this story, I was touched because it is exactly what I believe. I believe that your life should be an extension of what you say that you believe. In the Bible it says "by their fruits ye shall know them".  A good tree giveth good fruit, a bad tree giveth bad fruit. Seems like a simple way to judge. I have always had a hard time with people who say or profess that they believe one way and yet act another way. Our example is sometimes the only thing people may see. So how we live our every day lives is very important, I believe. A couple of my favorite quotes are underlined near the end of the story.

I hope you read it and are reminded like I was, to always make sure my actions match my words. Good night dear friends and thanks for your Examples to me and my family. They DO make a difference!

A Living Message
by Steve Goodier

Vincent Van Gogh was not always an artist. In fact, he wanted to be a church pastor and was even sent to the Belgian mining community of Borinage in 1879. He discovered that the miners there endured deplorable working conditions and poverty-level wages. Their families were malnourished and struggled simply to survive. He felt concerned that the small stipend he received from the church allowed him a moderate life style, which, in contrast to the poor, seemed unfair.
One cold February evening, while he watched the miners trudging home, he spotted an old man staggering toward him across the fields, wrapped in a burlap sack for warmth. Van Gogh immediately laid his own clothing out on the bed, set aside enough for one change, and determined to give the rest away. He gave the old man a suit of clothes and he gave his overcoat to a pregnant woman whose husband had been killed in a mining accident. He lived on starvation rations and spent his stipend on food for the miners. When children in one family contracted typhoid fever, though feverish himself, he packed up his bed and took it to them.
A prosperous family in the community offered him free room and board. But Van Gogh declined the offer, stating that it was the final temptation he must reject if he was to faithfully serve his community of poor miners. He believed that if he wanted them to trust him, he must become one of them. And if they were to learn of the love of God through him, he must love them enough to share with them.
He was acutely aware of a wide chasm, which can separate words and actions. He knew that people's lives often speak louder and clearer than their words. Maybe it was that same knowledge that led Francis of Assisi to frequently remind his monks, "Wherever you go, preach. Use words if necessary."
Today, others will be "listening" carefully to your actions.


"What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say"    ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We tend to judge others by their actions, and we judge ourselves by our intentions.”

Friday, June 26, 2009

Trust

Recently I had a conversation with a dear friend who was struggling with a situation in her life that she couldn't work out and couldn't understand why certain things were happening. I remembered this story of the ANT that I used once in teaching a lesson on faith and trust. I sent the story to her and tried to remind her that some things happen in our lives and we may or may not understand why. But it is vital that we continue on in the faith and pray for understanding. Sometimes we just have to keep going. I thought this story was a perfect reminder of that.
I needed to read this story again tonight myself. I went for my 1 mile walk and had to call for Lauren to come pick me up half way through, my back was hurting too bad. I am not sure why it has gotten worse lately? I usually can at least make it through my walk. I sat down and waited for Lauren to come pick me up and I started wondering why I can't at least do this? When will my body get stronger? Will I always be in pain? Anyway, I don't know the answer to any of these questions... but I do know that I need to stay strong, be positive and pray that I will be able to endure, whatever comes in the future.

So good night and enjoy the story!

THE ANT
A true story by Josh and Karen Zarandona
Brenda was a young woman who was invited to go rock climbing. Although she Was scared to death, she went with her group to a tremendous granite cliff.
In spite of her fear, she put on the gear, took a hold on the rope, and started up the face of that rock. Well, she got to a ledge where she could take a breather. As she was hanging on there, the safety rope snapped against Brenda's eye and knocked out her Contact lens. Well, here she is on a rock ledge, with hundreds of feet below Her and hundreds of feet above her. Of course, she looked and looked and looked, hoping it had landed on the ledge, but it just wasn't there.
Here she was, far from home, her sight now blurry. She was desperate and began to get upset, so she prayed to the Lord to help her to find it. When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but there was no contact lens to be found. She sat down, despondent, with the rest of the party, waiting for the rest of them to make it up the face of the cliff.
She looked out across range after range of mountains, thinking of that Bible verse that says, "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole Earth." She thought, "Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me."
Finally, they walked down the trail to the bottom. At the bottom there was a new party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, "Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?"
Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across the face of the rock, carrying it!
Brenda told me that her father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a picture of an ant lugging that contact lens with the words, "Lord, I don't know why you want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what you want me to do, I'll carry it for you."
I think it would probably do some of us good to occasionally say, "God, I don't know why you want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and It's awfully heavy. But, if you want me to carry it, I will."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Laughter is the best medicine

I have to admit, if our family has learned nothing else in this life, at least we know how to laugh. It is rare not to laugh every day around here. Most of the time it is because of something funny someone said or did. I am grateful for our sense of humor, it has really been a life saver. I received this email about laughter today. I thought it was cute and a great reminder for each of us, to laugh each day!

"You know, sometimes life just gets too serious...too busy...and too complicated. We don't mean for it to happen, but we wake up one morning to discover the fun has slipped away.
A few years ago a health study determined there are 3 main reasons people can't cope in life:
They live in the past.
They have a low self-esteem.
They can't laugh at themselves.
In fact, the study indicated that we need approximately 12 laughs a day to stay healthy!


I heard a story not long ago about a guy who sent flowers to his friend who was opening a new restaurant. When he arrived at the grand opening, he looked for his flowers. Well, when he found them, he saw that he had sent a white wreath that said, "May you rest in peace." He panicked, of course, and called the florist who said, "Bob, I'm not worried about you because as we speak, there's a guy being buried who got a dozen roses that said, "Good luck in your new location!"
Ah yes...life throws us curve balls when we least expect it! And sometimes, just to stay sane, we need to sit back and laugh!"
Mac Anderson
Founder, Simple Truths

'The most wasted of all days is one without laughter."  ~e.e. cummings

"Laughter gives us distance.  It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on."            ~Bob Newhart

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Love your children

This morning I dropped Lee and Lauren off at Church Camp for 3 days. It was funny, because right when I got ready to tell them good-bye, my eyes got a bit misty. They both said at the same time " oh mom, we are only going to be gone for 3 days!" then they laughed at me. Well that surely changed the MOMENT.

Silly as it seems, but I have always had a hard time seeing my kids leave home, whether it if for a few days, for camp, college, marriage and anything in between. I think it is a mother thing? I love my kids and all my life that is what I dreamed of...to be a MOM! I couldn't imagine a better job in the world! It is true... there are days that it is much harder than probably any other job, and yes...the pay isn't too good either, but the benefits are worth it. Seeing your kids happy, successful and making a difference in the world it well....better than anything I could ever imagine. And now I am a NANA, I can hardly put into words how great that feels!

So with this thought, I will leave you with this story that was in the Reader's Digest about children.  I hope we as parents... will remember that our choices, habits, behaviors and attitudes definitely have a profound impact on our kids. If we would remember this more often, I am sure we would try and make better choices.

Good night and thank you for all the help you have been to Jeff and I, in raising our kids! 

 

Love the Children
by Steve Goodier 
Some advice I heard several years ago has inspired me to constantly give my best to my children. The advice, surprisingly, came from someone who was not a parent at all, but rather a nun. It was offered by Mother Teresa shortly after she made a speech about her work with the sick and dying and her efforts to help orphans in India. Following her address, a member of the audience stood and asked, "You have done so much to make the world a better place. What can we do?" He clearly wanted to assist in her work.
Mother Teresa smiled and said simply, "Love your children."
The questioner looked perplexed and seemed about to speak again when Mother Teresa raised her hand. "There are other things you can do," she said, "but that is the best. Love your children. Love your children as much as you can. That is the best."
I can't help but believe that her advice, if followed by all parents and all adults in all places at all times, will transform our world in a generation. Just love the children - all the children. Love them as much as you can. That is best.

"We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today."             ~Stacia Tauscher

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Today is Jeff and I's 27th wedding anniversary! That is really hard to believe, how can that many years already have flown by?  I remember hearing couples who had been married for 50 or more years be interviewed. The question was always the same "WHAT'S YOUR SECRET TO A HAPPY MARRIAGE?"   Many of them replied something like..."we never go to bed mad" or "we never argued"...or "we never had a bad thought for each other". Well, if  I said all those things were true in our marriage, I would be lying. I personally think that marriage is a lot of work, but definitely worth it. 

I guess if I were asked how we have kept our marriage happy and going all these  years?  I would  have to say ... we haven't. We have certainly had our hard times, our sad and bad times, but we are still together. I think some of our greatest life savers on our marriage has been .... Date nights ( a time to reconnect with each other ), Forgiveness ( understanding that each of us have our weaknesses ), Love ( no matter how bad life gets, when Jeff holds me in his arms...I can handle anything) Faith ( our knowledge that God lives and that He loves us and will help see us through anything that life gives us ) Respect ( for each other's strengths and opinions) Children ( our kids have been a great reminder to us, that we need to do all that we can to have a happy marriage, so that they will want to have the same) Gratitude( for being married to my best friend and for all the blessings that we have ) and  Knowledge ( knowing that FAMILIES CAN BE FOREVER,is a great motivating factor in our marriage! )

So I will end with this sweet story of true love!

                 How to Dance in the Rain
It was a busy morning, about 8:30 , when an elderly gentleman in his 80s arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am.
I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.
While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor's  appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry.
The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I inquired as to her health.
He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer's Disease.
As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late.
He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.
I was surprised, and asked him, 'And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?'
He smiled as he patted my hand and said,
'She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is.'
I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought,
'That is the kind of love I want in my life.'
True love is neither physical, nor romantic.
True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be. 

"The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything;
they just make the best of everything they have"
 


 
"Life isn't about how to survive the storm,
but how to dance in the rain"

Monday, June 22, 2009

Thought attacks!

Today I had Physical Therapy, it is always a good/bad thing. It feels good at the time but after she moves all the toxins around then I feel bad while those toxins are trying to drain. I drink lots of water to try to clean them out, but still it is always tough the rest of the day. I only have one more PT appointment with her and then I am on my own again. I am ordering that suit that is for my lymphodemia, I hope that I get it soon.

While she does my massage we always have wonderful heart to heart talks. She has become a dear friend to me, I am grateful for her compassion, that is not easy to find in the medical field. We talked a lot about our thoughts and how important it is to control them before they control you. I have 2 books that I have loaned out to a lot of people who are struggling with their negative thoughts. They really have helped me out a lot, so I would like to share a small part of one of the books with you. This book is called SLOWING DOWN TO THE SPEED OF LIFE   by Richard Carlson and Joseph Bailey...

"A single, passing thought will rarely lower our spirits or create stress. The problem is that those harmless individual thoughts can easily multiply into thought attacks if we let them. Our thinking does to stress what water and sunshine do to our gardens: As we dwell on a thought, the object of our attention will grow in our minds. Then, with little awareness on our part, our discontented feelings will suddenly seem justified and real. We can transform a minor annoyance into an enormous source of stress if we think about it enough. This is why so many people get bothered by little things. Blowing things out of proportion can be a deadly habit." (end of quote)

Remember... it all starts with a thought!

I was suppose to go to have my mammogram today. It is usually expected for you to have one every 6 months when you have had cancer. I had a bad experience when I went right after my first cancer and lumpectomy, and so that thought came back to my mind as I set up the appointment a couple of weeks ago for today's mammogram. I personally never felt right about having that much radiation going into my breast every 6 months so I did it every year. I am not sure if you remember a post that I wrote not too long ago about fear of going to check ups? It talked about how normal it is for survivors to have stress attacks or thought attacks up to a week or more before their yearly exams. I have to tell you that is... so true, it is the worst feeling knowing that you are going back into the same arena where you found out that you had cancer. Not the greatest memories are there. For me it even goes a bit deeper than that, this is my second battle with cancer, plus for the two  years before this last diagnosis, the cancer was missed and went undetected anyway in each exam. So on top of the normal fear, I have lost a sense of trust in the whole system I think. I cried myself to sleep a couple of nights last week, just thinking about my appointment today and so I finally realized that I needed to step back, face the fear and try and get my head in the right place. When I called Friday to reschedule the nurse talked to me a bit, not about my fears, but I did mention the lymphodemia and she suggested that I get that taken care of before my exam, because it could be painful. I guess I hadn't even thought about that, another thing to worry about.

So I will call tomorrow the surgeon's office and see if she will check out my lymphodemia and make sure that that is all it is! ALL IT IS... :) that is enough, but we need to make sure that some of those places are just swelling not lumps. It is hard to tell the difference. I don't know what I am feeling. I have never felt my chest wall before, I have always had a breast over top of it. There really needs to be more information of what I am feeling and what I am looking for. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, why is that so hard to understand?

I am still a bit fearful for both of those appointments...the one with my surgeon and the mammogram, but I am trying to remember to let the thoughts pass and try to keep good thoughts in reserve for times like these.

I can't thank you enough for your encouragement, hope and love. It means the world to me. Life is tough and I appreciate all the help I can get. Hopefully I can do the same for you some day. Thank you again! Lynn

Consider the possibility...."CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW DIFFERENT YOUR LIFE WOULD BE IF, INSTEAD OF ALLOWING YOUR THOUGHTS TO MULTIPLY AND SPIRAL OUT OF CONTROL, YOU WERE TO SIMPLY NOTICE THEM AND LET THEM GO? YOUR FEELINGS OF URGENCY WOULD DISAPPEAR AND YOU WOULD BEGIN TO CALM DOWN. REMEMBER THAT  YOUR THOUGHTS ARE JUST THOUGHTS. THEY CANNOT HARM , FRIGHTEN, OR OVERWHELM YOU WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT."    ~ Richard Carlson and Joseph Bailey

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dad, are you awake?

Today is Father's Day. I am grateful that we have a day to honor our fathers. My dad and I weren't very close most of my life, but still I am grateful for the principles that he taught me and for love he tried to show. Dad has been gone for over a year now, and I catch myself wishing at times that our relationship could have been different. There was a definite void in my life and I suppose every child that wasn't very close to one of their parents, has it. When I start to feel bad about it, I remind myself that he did the best that he could and I try to just focus on the good things that he taught me.

But the main reason that I love celebrating Father's Day is because of Jeff. Jeff basically grew up without a father during most of his life, but I have to tell you that he is the BEST FATHER to our kids! He some how learned to be a good dad and to break that FATHERLESS generation that was before him. The kids adore him and he is constantly teaching them important values by example. I guess what I love the most about Jeff is... his dedication to the Lord. He strives daily to to do HIS will and the kids see that. Yes, Fatherhood is important, so I feel blessed that my kids have that type of dad for them.

I have to share a talk that I heard about Fathers that really  touched me. First of all I need to explain that this talk is about a father and his son but it applies just the same to father's and their daughters. It's by F. Melvin Hammond

“Dad, Are You Awake?"

Do your sons( or daughters ) ever wonder if you are asleep when it comes to the things that are most important to them?

 

Many years ago I took our only son on his first camping, fishing trip. He was just a boy. The canyon was steep, and the descent was difficult. But the fishing was good. Every time I hooked a fish I would give the pole to the eager boy, and with shouts of joy he would reel in a beautiful trout. In the shadows and coolness of the late afternoon, we began our climb back up to the rim high above us. He scrambled rapidly up the mountain ahead of me with a challenging, “Come on, Dad. I’ll bet I can beat you to the top.” The challenge was heard but wisely ignored. His small frame seemed literally to fly over, under, and around every obstacle, and when every step that I took seemed ridiculously like my last, he had reached the top and stood cheering me on. After supper we knelt in prayer. His small voice rose sweetly heavenward in benediction to our day. Then we climbed into our large double sleeping bag, and after a bit of pushing and pulling I felt his little body snuggle and settle tightly against mine for warmth and security against the night. As I looked at my son beside me, suddenly I felt a surge of love pass through my body with such force that it pushed tears to my eyes. And, at that precise moment, he put his little arms around me and said, “Dad.”

“Yes, son.”

“Are you awake?”

“Yes, my son, I am awake.”

“Dad, I love you a million, trillion times!”

And immediately he was asleep. But I was awake far into the night, expressing my great thanks for such wonderful blessings clothed with a little boy’s body.

Now my son is a man with a son of his own. Once in a while the three of us go fishing. I look at my little red-headed grandson beside his father, and I see in my mind’s eye the image of that wonderful moment long ago. The question so innocently asked, “Dad, are you awake?” still rings in my heart.

To every father, I pose the same penetrating question, “Dad, are you awake?” Do your sons ever wonder if you are asleep when it comes to the things that are most important to them? I would suggest that there are several areas that would indicate whether we are “awake” or “asleep” in the eyes of our sons.

First, our love for God and accepting our role as the family leader in keeping His commandments.

Dads, it is imperative that the challenges I have mentioned be mastered in our lives if our sons are to be spiritually and emotionally mature. If we do, then they will not be ashamed of us, nor will they ever be ashamed of themselves. They will become men of honor, respect, full of love, willing to serve the Savior and submit their will to Him.

If Dad is a true disciple of Jesus Christ, then the sons will follow him as the night the day. “Dad, are you awake?”

Second, the relationship we have with our wives—their mothers.

Considering everything else that we do, the way we treat our wives could well have the greatest impact on the character of our sons. If a father is guilty of inflicting verbal or physical abuse in any degree on his companion, his sons will resent him for it, perhaps even despise him for it. But interestingly enough, when they are grown and marry, they are likely to follow the same pattern of abuse with their wives. There is an urgent need in our society for fathers who respect their wives and treat them with sweet, tender love.

Recently I heard of a father who foolishly called his beautiful, intelligent wife “stupid” and “dumb” in a most degrading manner for some small mistake that she had innocently made. The children listened, embarrassed and frightened for their mother. She was belittled in front of those that she loved most. Although an apology and forgiveness were expressed, there still remained the hurt and shame of a senseless moment.

“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother” ~ David O. McKay      

Third, to provide discipline that is just and administered with love.

Too often out of our own frustration and weakness we raise our hands to strike our children, usually in an attempt to protect our own selfish pride. Every child needs to be disciplined. Not only do they need it; they expect it; they want it. Discipline gives direction and teaches self-control, but in all discipline there should be a sense of righteous judgment and pure love.

When it comes to discipline, “Dad, are you awake?”

Then we will rejoice in the fact that they are ours forever. They will say, “Dad, are you awake?”

And we will respond, “Yes, my son, I am awake.”

What a wonderful reminder to all of us Mothers and Fathers to realize how very important we are in the lives of our children and grandchildren.

Happy Father's Day to all !

Saturday, June 20, 2009

You are strong!

This was an amazing poem and one that I should make a lot of copies of and put them up all over my house so that I can see it everywhere. We are strong but too often we only remember our weak times, the days that seem Bigger Than Us! This was a great reminder for all of us.

Have a great evening! And thanks for helping remind me how STRONG I am!

YOU ARE STRONG
You are strong ..
when you take your grief and teach it to smile.
You are brave ..
when you overcome your fear and help others
to do the same.

You are happy ..
when you see a flower and are thankful
for the blessing.

You are loving ..
when your own pain does not blind you to the
pain of others.

You are wise ..
when you know the limits of your wisdom.

You are true ..
when you admit there are times you
fool yourself.

You are alive ..
when tomorrow's hope means more to you than
yesterday's mistake.

You are growing ..
when you know what you are but not what you
will become.

You are free ..
when you are in control of yourself and do not wish
to control others.

You are honorable ..
when you find your honor is to honor others.

You are generous ..
when you can take as sweetly as you can give.

You are humble ..
when you do not know how humble you are.

You are thoughtful ..
when you see me just as I am and treat me
just as you are.

You are merciful ..
when you forgive in others the faults you condemn
in yourself.

You are beautiful ..
when you don't need a mirror to tell you.

You are rich ..
when you never need more than what you have.

You are you ..
when you are at peace with who you are not.

Author Unknown

Friday, June 19, 2009

School and friends

When I was young school wasn't my favorite place to be but....my friends were there so I decided to stick it out. With my abuse came the feelings of no self worth and that I wasn't smart as all the other kids were. Maybe because my mind was somewhere else, maybe because I was just in SURVIVAL mode during most of those important educational years. So I would get excited every Sept to get new clothes and new school supplies (those were my favorites) and then I knew for sure that I would be in a safe place and able to be with my friends so...I guess I really did like school. (Just for the wrong reasons though)

Today was the last day of school for the High School, I have to say I am pretty excited. By the end of the school year I am so tired of schedules, finals and early mornings. I am looking forward to the summer and just kicking back a bit. Of course by the end of the summer I am ready for school and some structure in our lives soooo I guess it all works out quite nicely.

I got to visit with an friend that I haven't seen for awhile and her sweet kids, that was a treat. Friendships really do make my day, I realize that there are many struggles that I go through but life is much sweeter because of my dear friends. I feel like the past few months that I have been struggling with cancer that I have neglected many friends, not on purpose, but just because I don't have any more energy. I know a lot of people don't read blogs but that is my one attempt to let people know what is going on and that I still love and think of them.

"The only service a friend can really render is to keep up your courage by holding up to you a mirror in which you can see a noble image of yourself."
- George Bernard Shaw

Tonight is DATE NIGHT and so before I go I thought I would leave you with this great inspirational story that I found about a teacher, great insights in there for all of us. Have a good night!

The Parable of the Child
by Steve Goodier

"There is a difference between education and experience. Education is what you get from reading the small print. Experience is what you get from not reading it!"
But isn't it true that great learning comes from both education and experience? Let me tell you a parable:
A young school teacher had a dream that an angel appeared to him and said, "You will be given a child who will grow up to become a world leader. How will you prepare her so that she will realize her intelligence, grow in confidence, develop both her assertiveness and sensitivity, be open-minded, yet strong in character? In short, what kind of education will you provide that she can become one of the world's truly GREAT leaders?"
The young teacher awoke in a cold sweat. It had never occurred to him before -- any ONE of his present or future students could be the person described in his dream. Was he preparing them to rise to ANY POSITION to which they may aspire? He thought, 'How might my teaching change if I KNEW that one of my students were this person?' He gradually began to formulate a plan in his mind.
This student would need experience as well as instruction. She would need to know how to solve problems of various kinds. She would need to grow in character as well as knowledge. She would need self-assurance as well as the ability to listen well and work with others. She would need to understand and appreciate the past, yet feel optimistic about the future. She would need to know the value of lifelong learning in order to keep a curious and active mind. She would need to grow in understanding of others and become a student of the spirit. She would need to set high standards for herself and learn self discipline, yet she would also need love and encouragement, that she might be filled with love and goodness.
His teaching changed. Every young person who walked through his classroom became, for him, a future world leader. He saw each one, not as they were, but as they could be. He expected the best from his students, yet tempered it with compassion. He taught each one as if the future of the world depended on his instruction.
After many years, a woman he knew rose to a position of world prominence. He realized that she must surely have been the girl described in his dream. Only she was not one of his students, but rather his daughter. For of all the various teachers in her life, her father was the best.
I've heard it said that "Children are living messages we send to a time and place we will never see." But this isn't simply a parable about an unnamed school teacher. It is a parable about you and me -- whether or not we are parents or even teachers. And the story, OUR story, actually begins like this:
"You will be given a child who will grow up to become...." You finish the sentence. If not a world leader, then a superb father? An excellent teacher? A gifted healer? An innovative problem solver? An inspiring artist? A generous philanthropist?
Where and how you will encounter this child is a mystery. But believe that his or her future may depend upon influence only you can provide, and something remarkable will happen. For no child will ever be ordinary to you again. And you will never be the same.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

As ye sow, so shall ye reap

I am always interested in what makes people tick. I believe there are many aspects to that answer, but the bottom line for me is how to be an observer self each day. Knowing how to make the necessary changes that come with life and life's challenges and experiences. Life is all about change ... Isaac Asimov "The only constant is change..." I think that it is vital, to look at the decisions that we make each day, what are we sowing? I am just trying to plant a few pumpkin plants in my garden for my granddaughter and I totally expect to have pumpkins this fall not anything else. I think this article was good on this whole subject. I hope it makes us all stop and think on a daily basis what we are really sowing!


The Strangest Secret
by Earl Nightingale
George Bernard Shaw said, "People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, they make them."
Well, it's pretty apparent, isn't it? And every person who discovered this believed (for a while) that he was the first one to work it out. We become what we think about.
Conversely, the person who has no goal, who doesn't know where he's going, and whose thoughts must therefore be thoughts of confusion, anxiety and worry - his life becomes one of frustration, fear, anxiety and worry. And if he thinks about nothing... he becomes nothing.
How does it work? Why do we become what we think about? Well, I'll tell you how it works, as far as we know. To do this, I want to tell you about a situation that parallels the human mind.
Suppose a farmer has some land, and it's good, fertile land. The land gives the farmer a choice; he may plant in that land whatever he chooses. The land doesn't care. It's up to the farmer to make the decision.
We're comparing the human mind with the land because the mind, like the land, doesn't care what you plant in it. It will return what you plant, but it doesn't care what you plant.
Now, let's say that the farmer has two seeds in his hand- one is a seed of corn, the other is nightshade, a deadly poison. He digs two little holes in the earth and he plants both seeds-one corn, the other nightshade. He covers up the holes, waters and takes care of the land...and what will happen? Invariably, the land will return what was planted.
As it's written in the Bible, "As ye sow, so shall ye reap."
Remember the land doesn't care. It will return poison in just as wonderful abundance as it will corn. So up come the two plants - one corn, one poison.
The human mind is far more fertile, far more incredible and mysterious than the land, but it works the same way. It doesn't care what we plant...success...or failure. A concrete, worthwhile goal...or confusion, misunderstanding, fear, anxiety and so on. But what we plant it must return to us.
You see, the human mind is the last great unexplored continent on earth. It contains riches

" NOBODY CAN GO BACK AND START A NEW BEGINNING, BUT ANYONE CAN START TODAY AND MAKE A NEW ENDING" ~Maria Robinson

" THE KEY TO CHANGE...IS TO LET GO OF FEAR" ~ Rosanne Cash

"SOMETIMES IT'S THE SMALLEST DECISIONS THAT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER" ~ Keri Russell

"BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD" ~Mahatma Gandi

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Candy Store

Sunday was a busy day and I remember doing a short post because I was too tired. I did however want to share with you something that I learned at church. One of the talks was about change, and how vital that is in our lives. The speaker then told this story by Hugh B. Brown, which was the perfect lesson for all.

No one can make us change, but there are those LIGHTBULB MOMENTS that seem to remind us that we need to change and do it now. I hope this story is one of those MOMENTS for each of us... to look at our lives and our behaviors then, decide to make the necessary changes that we need in our lives. Remember "LIFE IS A PROCESS"

The Kid in the Candy Store

One day a teenaged boy went into a Candy store. He approached the Proprietor and asked for 3 boxes of chocolates 1 one-pound of chocolates, 1 two-pound box of chocolates, and 1 three-pound box of chocolates.

The owner complied and began to fill the young man’s order and asked, “may I ask you why need 3 boxes of chocolates”?

The young man said:

“I am going to a dance with a girl that I don’t know very well but I like her a lot. If we go to the dance and she is shy and quite, and perhaps we dance a few dances I will give her that 1-pound box of chocolates. If we go to the dance and she is fun and we dance a lot and she holds my hand, I will give here that 2-pound box of chocolates. If we go to the dance and we dance close all night long, hold hands and as the end of the night she gives me a kiss, I will give her the 3-pound box of chocolates.

The owner smiled, wished him good luck and rang the young man up for his order.

The night of the dance arrived and the young man went to the house to retrieve his date for the evening. Her parents invited him inside and they waited for her to come downstairs. When she was finally ready she came down and said she was ready to leave.

The young man said:

“Do you mind if we read some scriptures together with your parents before we go”?

She thought this was a strange request but allowed it.

After completing some verses she again resounded she was ready to leave.

The young man said:

“Before we go can we kneel down together and have a family prayer”?

She again thought this to be strange but figured it would help her to get to the dance so she allowed it.

After the prayer she asked the young man again if they could leave, and he finally agreed.

They said goodbye to the parents and left.

As they were walking to his car the young woman said”

I have to be honest with you… I had no idea you were so spiritual”

The young man replied:

“To be honest… I had no idea your father owned a Candy Store”.

The moral of the story:

"A change in understanding can lead to a change in behavior"

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Little moments are what life is made up of!

I received this email from a company called Simple Truths, they have many inspirational thoughts and stories. But today they sent me a video that was amazing and full of quotes...my personal favorite! So here is it, sit back and relax for a moment or two, and check it out and see if you feel different at the end of the power point movie? Good night dear friends!

Dear Lynn,
I once heard someone say, "We don't remember days, we remember moments." However, at today's hectic pace, we often forget to savor small pleasures while we make big plans.
For me, the amazing beauty of nature provides many moments and small pleasures that I treasure. The blazing colors of a fall hillside or the beauty of a sunset across the water can take my breath away!
So, if you love nature like I do-you're about to see something beautiful! The award-winning photography, the music and the beautiful quotes will take you to another world.
Just go to this link to watch.
www.naturesinspirationmovie.com


To life,

Mac Anderson
Founder, Simple Truths

Monday, June 15, 2009

Anyone need a Doctor?

Obviously I needed one or two today, because I was at 5 different appointments. I started out at 9:00 am at the hospital for my weekly Physical Therapy apt for my lymphodemia. Those are always good for me, but make me feel drained, as she is moving the toxins around. Next, I had a quick appointment with my oncologist to see if he thinks there are any problems with the lumps under my arm that are still swollen.The Physical Therapist was a bit concerned. He really didn't think that they were an issue, he then mentioned that you can have quite a bit of pain and soreness up to a year after your last radiation treatment. If he was trying to comfort me, it wasn't working. He didn't seem real concerned but then again, he isn't the one hurting either. I don't mean that rude, but isn't it true? The one that is going through it, is the one probably more concerned and they are the ones who have to deal with the time factor. Like you can have symptoms and pain up to a year afterwards, yikes...I am only 2 or 3 months out. Time is definitely an issue, especially when it involves PAIN!

My third appointment was with a L.M.D. rep for FLEXITOUCH. It is a company that has developed this machine that basically does what my Physical Therapist does for me, except this is something I can do myself every day in the comfort of my own home. ( didn't that sound like a sales line? ) It massages you and then at the same time helps you drain the toxins out of your body. He was very knowledgeable about lymphodemia and he seemed way more concerned about me, as my Physical Therapist does. I wonder why doctors aren't that concerned about it? Maybe because that is not their job. Their job is the treatments or surgery, but a Physical Therapist are the ones that are trying to get you back to life, back to living without pain and so many restrictions. How grateful I am that my Physical Therapist was concerned enough to have Lance come in and let me test this machine out. It takes an hour a day when your lymphodemia is mild to moderate like mine. You have to do it twice a day if it gets acute.

This machine also would definitely be for PREVENTIVE from getting lymphodemia in my arm, hand, legs and etc. He asked if I wanted to see some photos of women and men who had acute cases? I said no thanks, I already know I don't want mine to get worse or spread any where else. Then I asked for the price, we have great insurance through Boeing, but the part that is not covered... is high. They do have payment plans and scholarship type of things so... we shall see?

I have sold things most of my life, I am actually not too bad at it either. But listening to Vance and his presentation was wonderful,he had all the facts and figures to help me see how wonderful this FLEXITOUCH machine is. I wondered how many men and women with lymphodemia, really turn him down? I kept reminding myself of the price, but then after a certain point, I thought "if it keeps me from getting lymphodemia anywhere else or having it get worse, how could I not invest in it?" Lymphodemia is a life long problem, it does not go away, it can just settles down, but it is a life long issue that you have to deal with. You don't grow back lymph nodes, once they are gone they are gone. That is why I didn't want as many as I had taken out.

I wonder what it is like to sell to someone that is hurting, someone who is sitting there for an hour and can't go anywhere accept listen to you? To sell to someone that realizes that their lymphodemia is going to continue to take more time out of our life? I mean, some times it is down right discouraging to have to continue to fight one more battle after another. Cancer was already a tough battle... but even after that, the fighting continues, it just is labeled something else. I have said more than once... that no one can afford to have cancer, time or money wise. Cancer can be a full time job in and of itself. With no securities or benefits, that can be discouraging at time.

A dear friend that I spoke to today said something that I thought was worth repeating, she herself has had a very trying life and had some huge losses in her life, one of her biggest was the lose of her son. As a mother I personally can't think of anything worse, but her sweet sister told her at the time of the funeral. "YOU CAN BE BITTER OR YOU CAN BE BETTER!" What a great and profound quote! That is certainly true about anyone's life, especially someone who has had more than their share of struggles. "YOU CAN BE BITTER OR YOU CAN BE BETTER" because of it. It is your choice! I know for sure that all these trials and problems are to teach us great wisdom and to help us to become better people, not bitter ones!

There are days that we might not accomplish that exactly, but we need to try and remember to be gentle with ourselves and to try and learn from our situations. Many times, even the worst experiences can be like treasure chests, with hidden treasures of knowledge, that will teach you sooooo much! So here I go again, down another curve in my road, uphill too! Thank you for your thoughts and prayers in my behalf, this has been one of the hardest journeys I have ever taken, plus one of the longer ones too. May we all be, more prone to examine the situations in our lives and then realize that we can either be bitter (why is it happening to me?) or better ( what do I need to learn?), it is our choice.

The last two appointments were for Lauren, she has come down with the flu! I am grateful for our doctors, physical therapist and others who share their concern and their knowledge that helps us get better and ultimately to teach us how to take better care of ourselves. Don't forget to look for those hidden treasures of knowledge. Remember..."KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!"

"THE SUPERIOR DOCTOR PREVENTS SICKNESS; THE MEDIOCRE DOCTOR ATTENDS TO IMPENDING SICKNESS; THE INFERIOR DOCTOR TREATS ACTUAL SICKNESS" ~ Chinese Proverb

"WHENEVER A DOCTOR CANNOT DO GOOD, HE MUST BE KEPT FROM DOING HARM" ~ Hippocrates

"MY DOCTOR GAVE ME SIX MONTHS TO LIVE, BUT WHEN I COULDN'T PAY THE BILL HE GAVE ME SIX MONTHS MORE" :) ~ Walter Matthau

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Enjoying what we have

We had a celebration for Lauren's graduation dinner tonight and so I am a bit tired and it is getting late. I found this cute story and wanted to share it with you. It already came with quotes at the end! SCORE

Good night dear friends and I hope we all can try harder to enjoy what we already have!

The Hot Chocolate Story

A group of graduates, well established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor, now retired. During their visit, the conversation turned to complaints about stress in their work and lives. Offering his guests hot chocolate, the professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot chocolate and an assortment of cups-porcelain, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite -- telling them to help themselves to the hot chocolate.
When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the professor said: 'Notice that all the nice looking; expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. The cup that you're drinking from adds nothing to the quality of the hot chocolate. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was hot chocolate, not the cup; but you consciously went for the best cups... And then you began eyeing each others cups.
Now consider this: Life is the hot chocolate; your job, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life. The cup you have does not define, nor change the quality of life you have. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the hot chocolate we have. The happiest people don't have the best of everything.. They just make the best of everything that they have.
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.
And enjoy your hot chocolate!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Words!

When Jeff and I began our family, we decided that we wanted our home filled with words that encouraged, uplifted, praised and inspired. We didn't want the kids to get used to saying words that put down or tore down each other. Of course as parenthood goes when it is forbidden, then it is much more tempting to say. So after a few ups and downs with words slipping out, we decided to tell the kids that they could say those bad words, but only if they were in the garage or after 10:00pm. For some reason I think that made them feel better because they felt like they had a choice. The nice thing for Jeff and I was...the garage was always so full or dirty that no one ever went in there and the kids went to bed between 8:30 and 9:00pm, so it worked like a charm! :)

I can remember being called an idiot, being told I was dumb and stupid and for soooooooooooooooo many years I really believed I was. Words are very powerful (for good and bad).

I love the words Thank You and we try to remember to use it ourselves just as much as we ask the kids to use it. It makes me feel that we love and respect each other more when we do. I will be the first to admit, that we are far from perfect in our home.... but we do really try to make it a place that is happy and safe for each of us and hopefully those who come to visit.

So tonight, with that in mind I found this cute story that reminds us to speak kind words to others and be very aware of unkind words and the damage that they cause. Good night and thank you for all of your encouraging words for me.

The 2 Frogs

- By unknown Author

A group of frogs were traveling through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit. When the other frogs saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that they were as good as dead.

The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit with all their might. The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He fell down and died.

The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die. He jumped even harder and finally made it out. When he got out, the other frogs said, "Did you not hear us?" The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time.

This story teaches two lessons:

1. There is power of life and death in the tongue. An encouraging word to someone who is down can lift them up and help them make it through the day.
2. A destructive word to someone who is down can be what it takes to kill them.
Be careful of what you say. Speak life to those who cross your path. The power of words... it is sometimes hard to understand that an encouraging word can go such a long way. Anyone can speak words that tend to rob another of the spirit to continue in
difficult times. Special is the individual who will take the time to encourage another.

"WATCH YOUR THOUGHTS, FOR THEY BECOME WORDS.

WATCH YOUR WORDS, FOR THEY BECOME ACTIONS.

WATCH YOUR ACTIONS, FOR THEY BECOME HABITS.

WATCH YOUR HABITS, FOR THEY BECOME CHARACTER.

WATCH YOUR CHARACTER, FOR IT BECOMES YOUR DESTINY"

"BY SWALLOWING EVIL WORDS UNSAID, NO ONE HAS EVER HARMED HIS STOMACH" ~Winston Churchill

"TIME AND WORDS CAN'T BE RECALLED, EVEN IF IT WAS ONLY YESTERDAY" ~ Yiddish Proverb

Friday, June 12, 2009

Graduation Day! Class of 2009 yeah!!!!!!

It is late and we are pretty tired from sitting in those HARD chairs for over 2 hours for graduation. But I have to admit it was a wonderful feeling seeing Lauren receive her diploma. She was so excited! Amy and John went with us so we were able to make a little bit more noise, when they called her name! :)

I will leave you with this sweet story, it was really good. So I hope you enjoy it too! Good night dear friends.

Making a difference in someone else's life...BIG!

One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school. His name was Kyle. t looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, 'Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd.' I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on. As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him.. He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye. As I handed him his glasses, I said, 'Those guys are jerks.' They really should get lives. ' He looked at me and said, 'Hey thanks!' There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school before now. I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends He said yes. We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him. Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, 'Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday! ' He just laughed and handed me half the books. Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends.. When we were seniors we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor and I was going for business on a football scholarship.. Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him. Boy, sometimes I was jealous! Today was one of those days. I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, 'Hey, big guy, you'll be great!' He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. Thanks,' he said.As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began "Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach...but mostly your friends... I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story..' I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying all his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. 'Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable..' I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize it's depth. Never underestimate the power of your actions.. With one small gesture you can change a person's life. For better or for worse. God puts us all in each others lives to impact one another in some way.

Believe in Your Dreams

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." ~Eleanor Roosevelt

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." ~ Nelson Mandela

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~ Mark Twain

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Graduations announcements, the most important part is inside!

Today we finally got Lauren's graduation announcements mailed out, I know it is late, but we did the best that we could. Amy took the photos, Lauren designed the cards and I just got all the names and addresses together. We always try to have the kids put some kind of personal note in their announcements, simply because, as you know ...IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD! So last night we are all down stairs and trying to personally stamp the cards and fill the envelopes, when Jeff realized that we had 3 words wrong on the personal card. We about died, we had proof read that two or three times but we couldn't go back and do everything over again. It was too late and it would have cost too much. Plus, we didn't have the right envelopes, we went to two different stores but couldn't find them so... we had to use plain ole business envelopes. Amy thought that they looked pretty tacky and then we found the words that we had wrong on the card. It was almost comical.

Amy, is so precise and everything that she touches is darn near perfect. Lauren is on the extreme other end, she just wants to get it done, she likes it to look good, but doesn't want to put a lot of fuss into it. I am stuck right in the middle of those two. My solution was to hope that the family and loved ones that receive her graduation announcements, will be more concerned about the important part inside and not how tacky the envelope looked or get stuck on the written mistakes! I told the girls not to worry about it and that I would find some way to make this experience a learning one and write it in my blog tonight. So I did, here is the story that emphasizes our experience. Life isn't perfect, it never will be, but it is good and some times even, down right funny! Thanks for looking over all our flaws! :) NIGHT!

Parable Of The PENCIL

The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the box.
"There are 5 things you need to know," he told the pencil, "Before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be."
"One: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in Someone's hand."
"Two: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you'll need it to become a better pencil."
"Three: You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make."
"Four: The most important part of you will always be what's inside."
"And Five: On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition, you must continue to write."
The pencil understood and promised to remember, and went into the box with purpose in its heart.
Now replacing the place of the pencil with you. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best person you can be.
One: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in God's hand. And allow other human beings to access you for the many gifts you possess.
Two: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, by going through various problems in life, but you'll need it to become a stronger person.
Three: You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.
Four: The most important part of you will always be what's on the inside.
And Five: On every surface you walk through, you must leave your mark. No matter what the situation, you must continue to do your duties.
Allow this parable on the pencil to encourage you to know that you are a special person and only you can fulfill the purpose to which you were born to accomplish.
Never allow yourself to get discouraged and think that your life is insignificant and cannot make a change.
~ Unknown

'Graduation is only a concept. In real life every day you graduate. Graduation is a process that goes on until the last day of your life. If you can grasp that, you'll make a difference." ~ Arie Pencovici

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else. " ~ Judy Garland

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

ARE WE NAVIGATING LIFE OR ARE WE LOST ?

Many of you probably have heard me say that I have no sense of direction and mostly that is true. But I was thinking about that comment the other day and realized that it isn't completely true. I have no sense of direction in the car or sometimes even when I am just going down a street, should I go left or right? But I was studying an article (can you tell that I am a reader?) and it was about how we navigate our lives ( by Jose Teixeira). It mentioned that a GPS receiver is tuned to frequencies transmitted by satellites high about the earth; which help us from getting lost while driving. Much like that, we an internal GPS that allows us to know at all times what is right and what is wrong, as well as assisting us in making correct decisions...we call it our CONSCIENCE! How ever if we don't listen to it and follow those gut feelings, then after a while we become desensitized and may not be able to receive the signal that we need to guide our footsteps.

As a child I remember those feelings of my conscience. I have always had a strong feeling of right and wrong. But I was abused by my grandfather for years and it became confusing for me to listen to that GPS inside. I knew what kind of a man he was. But it seemed to everyone around me, that he was a good neighbor,friend and someone that everyone could trust. The longer the abuse went on, the more confused I was about my feeling inside. How could everyone be fooled? Maybe I was wrong, maybe this is what grandfathers just do? It was a time that I truly ...felt LOST!

I tried to tell someone when I was 5 years old but I was reprimanded and told that he was a wonderful man and that he would never hurt anyone. Talk about confusing. I was young but remember feeling like I had done something wrong, how could I think feel such bad feelings, for such a wonderful man. YUCK, is all my stomach kept telling me and now I was beginning to think that I was the bad person.

Throughout my teen years, I was very confused and really began questioning why I was even here on earth. If my purpose was to be abused, surely I had fulfilled that and so I remember praying that I would just be able to leave. No, I never considered suicide, I just wanted God to take me away. I couldn't see much of a future with the lie that I was living with, the shame too. Many times it seemed more than I could bear. I had lots of friends but that isn't the sorta thing that you tell anyone. What would they think of me? I could only imagine.

Being raised in a religious home was my life saver. I was taught that I had a Heavenly Father and that I could go to Him anytime and ask for help, strength and comfort. I was reminded that I did have a conscience and that I needed to trust that, it is a gift...given to all of us, so we need never be truly lost.

To make a long story short, I learned how to pray and to listen. I learned how to fine tune my own GPS! I received a strength beyond my own. I confronted my grandfather and for once, I was the one that was doing all the threatening. It was empowering and freeing. The emotional abuse still continued for years, he and my grandmother lived on our farm. But the physical abuse stopped that moment.

I was still a very messed up teenager and since I was always in survivor mode all those years, school was never a top priority and so I had a lot of challenges from that. I some how graduated from High School ( a miracle within itself )and went on with life. I dated too many guys, always trying to find the one true love and best friend that I could share my life with and this awful secret with too.

On June 9th, 31 years ago yesterday, I went on my first date with this terribly handsome guy named... Jeff Woodard. I knew by the end of the date that he was a true gentleman and someone that I could completely trust. My internal GPS told me exactly where I should go. And from that day on I have never looked back. I had a choice, I had finally learned to trust my gut again, I realized that I had never done anything that would have made me deserve the abuse that I got. It is just called LIFE, people make all type of decisions and sometimes the decisions of others effect our lives. Don't let anyone tell you that this is your life, your choices don't effect others, because they do! My grandfather's decisions were bad ones, and many people suffered from it. But when I finally started trusting my navigating system again, everything looked brighter. I do know that we all have the ability to make choices, that's our freedom and our gift. But I also know that choosing good always leads to happiness and just the opposite with wrong decisions.

So where do I go from here? I know exactly who I am and where I am to go. It's a great feeling, not to be lost. I know my purpose and I have my best friend to travel this road with me. Life is hard, it is work... but it is good. My sense of direction (in the car) still might be lacking, but not my sense of right or wrong. That signal has never been stronger! I feel blessed... to know exactly where I am!

I truly hope that you are listening to that gut feeling, your own personal GPS, your conscience. Then I hope you are following it's direction. Isn't it great to know that we are not alone in our journey? Thanks for the friendship and guidance you have given me along the way.

"OUR LIVES WILL DEPEND UPON THE DECISIONS WHICH WE MAKE- FOR DECISIONS DETERMINE DESTINY" ~ Thomas Monson

"IF ONE ADVANCES CONFIDENTLY IN THE DIRECTION OF ONE'S DREAMS, AND ENDEAVORS TO LIVE THE LIFE WHICH ONE HAS IMAGINED, ONE WILL MEET WITH A SUCCESS UNEXPECTED IN COMMON HOURS." ~Henry David Thoreau

" I CAN'T CHANGE THE DIRECTION OF THE WIND, BUT I CAN ADJUST MY SAILS TO ALWAYS REACH MY DESTINATION" ~Jimmy Dean

Make a difference

I was in the hospital for less than 24 hours for my mastectomy, it was way too fast. What this DR mentions here about her patient reaction, is truly how I felt. I didn't comprehend all that was being told to me. I was in a lot of pain, I was scared, medicated and not sure how I was even going to survive this. So if there could be given to the women, at least 2 days that would be a tremendous help. If you feel like helping this bill go through, please do.

Thanks,

Lynn Woodard

Proposed Mastectomy Law Change

(written by a surgeon);

I'll never forget the look in my patients eyes when I had to tell them they had to go home with the drains, new exercises and no breast. I remember begging the doctors to keep these women in the hospital longer, only to hear that they would, but their hands were tied by the insurance companies.

So there I sat with my patient giving them the instructions they needed to take care of themselves, knowing full well they didn't grasp half of what I was saying, because the glazed, hopeless, frightened look spoke louder than the quiet 'Thank you' they muttered.

A mastectomy is when a woman's breast is removed in order to remove cancerous breast cells/tissue. If you know anyone who has had a mastectomy, you may know that there is a lot of discomfort and pain afterwards. Insurance companies are trying to make mastectomies an outpatient procedure. Let's give women the chance to recover properly in the hospital for 2 days after surgery.

This Mastectomy Bill is in Congress now. It takes 2 seconds to do this and is very important. The Breast Cancer Hospitalization Bill is important legislation for all women.

If there was ever a time when our voices and choices should be heard, this is one of those times.

There's a bill called the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act which will require insurance companies to cover a minimum 48-hour hospital stay for patients undergoing a mastectomy. It's about eliminating the 'drive-through mastectomy' where women are forced to go home just a few hours after surgery, against the wishes of their doctor, still groggy from anesthesia and sometimes with drainage tubes still attached.

Lifetime Television has put this bill on their web page with a petition drive to show your support.. Last year over half the House signed on. PLEASE! Sign the petition by clicking on the web site below. You need not give more than your name and zip code number.

http://www.mylifetime.com/community/my-lifetime-commitment/breast-cancer/petition/breast-cancer-petition

This only takes a few seconds. Thank you!