Thursday, June 30, 2011

Faith vs. Doubt

Read this short poem and thought it was worth sharing. I personally know that it is vital that we choose Faith over fear and doubt. Faith is a happier, more content place to me. It takes a lot, to decide to choose Faith first, I know because I have had to make that struggle and choice... over and over in my life. It seems like such a small thing but believe me it isn't, but... it is worth it!

Good night dear friends!

Faith vs. Doubt
Doubt sees the obstacles.
Faith sees the way.
Doubt sees the darkest night.
Faith sees the day.
Doubt dreads to take a step.
Faith soars on high.
Doubt questions "Who believes"?
Faith answers "I".
--- William (Harvey) Jett

"Nothing in life is to be feared.  It is only to be understood."  ~Marie Curie

"To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom."  ~Bertrand Russell

"He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear. " ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Nana, are you old?"

My granddaughter and I were walking in the store yesterday and as we were holding hands, she reached up and rubbed my hand and said " Nana, are you old?" I was a bit confused and took a quick look at my hand and said " no, do I look old (as I was staring at my hand?") Her reply again was "Nana, are you old?" I then said "well, I am a little bit old but why do you ask?" Her question next was "Nana, are you going to get old? " Then I was a bit more confused and asked her what she meant.

(just a little background real quick...John's grandmother died last week, and so they have been talking alot about it at home )

Then came her reply "Grandma Dee, got old" I began to choke up and said "Well, I am trying real hard not to get old". She looked me right in the eye and replied " Nana, there are alot of things we still need to do together". I tried to just smile instead of cry. Then I finally composed myself and said, "Yes, we have alot of things we still need to do together, what are some of them?" Her little face got brighter and she began to list off all the things we want to do together.

Death is a tough concept for us adults, I am glad I asked her why, about some of those questions. Now I realize that in her sweet little 5 year old mind, she was trying to process her Grandma Dee dying and what was going to happen to me ...her Nana! How I wish I could have grabbed her up in my arms and promised her that I would never get old or leave her, and that we would have many, many years together...but first of all, she is way too big for me to pick up :)  and second of all, none of us know that for sure...so I just gave her hand a squeeze and told her how much I loved her. And silently to myself, I promised that I will make the most of every day I have with her and her sister and all my loved ones!

So on that note, let me say thank you for being such an important part of my life. How I wish I could spend a whole day with each one of you, and personally let you know what you mean to me in my life. I am truly blessed to have such wonderful family and friends!   Have a good night.

"One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure its worth watching."

"Every man dies- Not every man really lives."  ~ William Ross Wallace

"A grandchild fills a space in your heart that you never knew was empty" 

 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Still my boy!

Our youngest son Lee as you know, graduated last week. He is 18 years old and soon he will be heading off to college, that seems so weird that he is our last one to leave home. The Empty Nest Stage is quickly approaching and I am NOT READY for it! But like anything else in life, ready or not here ...it comes!  Life just keeps happening.

Lee was asked to help coach at a Basketball Camp this whole week, he was more than excited to go. He loves playing ball, he has since he was a little kid. Ball was even his first word! Anyway, last night as we were discussing his trip and if he had every thing he needed, he asked me if I was going to write those cards again. I didn't know what he meant at first and then he explained ..."You know the cards that you wrote one for every day, last year when I went to camp?" I did remember and was thrilled that he liked it and wasn't embarrassed that his Mom was writing him a card, scripture and quote for each day. He really want them again! It did my heart good to hear that. You never know when the things you do... are truly appreciated or if the things you are teaching ...really are sinking in! Yeah, that was great treat for me to hear!

So I guess even though he is 6 ft and 18 years old, he is still my boy. It is a neat feeling as a Mom, when  you know that your grown children still need you in some ways! I just love being their MOM!
Good night dear friends!

"Son, you outgrew my lap, but never my heart."  ~Author Unknown

"You don't raise heroes, you raise sons.  And if you treat them like sons, they'll turn out to be heroes, even if it's just in your own eyes."  ~Walter M. Schirra, Sr.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Nightmares!

One of the side effects of having cancer is the fear that comes with it. There are days and even weeks and months that I am not really effected by it. But then something will trigger those Bigger Than Me Days of fear, and those are tough days. I had one ( ok, maybe 2 or 3  ) of those a month ago when I was feeling so tired and weak. The fatigue was terrible and my mind went to a bad place. I tried to write about it because I think that it is very important to let other survivors know, what is normal or at least happens to other survivors. It took me over a week to really get out of that bad place. The What Ifs came too, and so it took a lot of work and effort to change where I was.

Finally I did and have been grateful ever since that I don't feel like running and looking over my shoulder all the time, wondering when or if cancer is going to return. But I had a bit of a relapse the other night. I have been having some swelling in my arm from not having many lymph nodes after my surgery. Some times if the swelling gets bad, my arm aches and lately that seems to be happening a lot. When I went to bed that night, I woke up a few times in the middle in a bad dream. Each time I woke up, I could feel my arm just throbbing and then I would go back to sleep and be right back in the same dream. The dream was, my arm was aching and so we went to the DR. and he said that I had Stage 4 bone cancer, I was devastated, then I would wake up and realize it was only a dream ( nightmare to be a matter of fact ) and how grateful I was that it was only that. Finally I decided to get up because I did not want to go back into that dream again.

So sometimes even when you think your head is in the right place, your sub-conscience brings those fears back to you. Yes, the side effects of cancer can be scary but manageable IF you work at it each day! With that said, I am tired... my arm is still aching and now I am wondering if I really want to go to bed tonight or not? Guess I will anyway, good night dear friends!

P.S. Maybe what I should do, is go get one of my RECNAC MONSTERS, they really do help!

"Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing."

"There is much in the world to make us afraid.  There is much more in our faith to make us unafraid."  ~Frederick W. Cropp


"There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them."  ~Andre Gide

Sunday, June 26, 2011

What a great day!

   Today was a great day, I was wondering why that was? Maybe because we had sunshine...which we haven't seen a lot of this summer. Maybe because it was the Sabbath?  I love stopping all the regular things that I do every day, and really enjoy and honor the Sabbath. I like getting spiritually refueled, or taking time to recharge my spiritual batteries.
   
I notice that I am not very good at  working outside of my home, and taking care of my home and the essentials like I should. I know there are many woman out there that can do work and home quite well but...that has never been me. I worked all week at the Quilt Shop for the Shop Hop and like I said before and I loved it! But at the same time, my housework, food, meals, exercise and personal study were jeopardized. I didn't take time to send out the cards that I wanted to, or spend the time with family and friends like I should. So there once again I was reminded to find balance in my life. Keep my priorities for myself and my family. I like doing the thing that I love ...like creating, but I realize when I pay attention to my exercise, scriptures, and prayers that I am way more balanced and productive when I put first things first. So at the ripe age of 51 and 3/4...I am still learning!
   Another thing that I read today, that has caused me to think again about my choices in life was an article. In  there was a few comments about  how very much God wants to help us over obstacles in our life. He gave this quote... "He wants to speak to us. He speaks to us in the ways that we can hear only with our heart. To better hear His voice, it would be wise to turn down the volume control of the worldly noise in our lives. If we ignore or block out the prompting's of the Spirit for whatever reason, they become less noticeable until we cannot hear them at all."  ~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf
  
I realized that lately it has been easier to turn on the computer than open my scriptures. Easier to watch a movie than go visit a friend. Focus on me, instead of others. I have got to turn off the computer more. To many of you that know me, you might laugh ...because I am not on the computer that often but...I am on it more than I have even been. It is so easy to just check my email, search a few blogs or web sites and to check on Face book to see what is going on. I am thinking that I need to spend less time on here and really take the time to have things more quite in my life so...I truly can listen to what the Lord wants me to do. In the past when I have been more attentive at doing that, life really seemed a lot smoother. Other wise, I sorta feel like I am trying to shoot an arrow in the dark. I have goals or a target that I want to hit , but when I am so busy and going at such a fast  pace, then I feel a bit left out in the dark and that is when I realize it is time for me to re-evaluate once again. Who said you had to wait till the New Year to set goals?
I hope you had a wonderful Sunday too! Good night dear friends!

 

"The goal you set must be challenging. At the same time, it should be realistic and attainable, not impossible to reach. It should be challenging enough to make you stretch, but not so far that you break." Rick Hansen

"Action expresses priorities." ~ Mohandas Gandhi  

"Good things happen when you get your priorities straight."  ~ Scott Caan

"We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey."  ~ Stephen R. Covey  

You know you are too old to be a parent when.....

Our son came home the other night with a concussion. He had gotten hit in the face with an elbow, while playing Fresbie in the park with some friends. It worried us because he has been in the hospital a couple of times the past year with concussions. Since we have done it so many times, we decided to wait and see how he was doing. We checked his eyes and had him put ice on his head and stay low for awhile. It was very late and he did not want to go to the Emergency room. So we did all the things we needed to do and just made sure to keep him awake, until the dizziness went away.

Jeff gets up early so he finally went to bed around midnight, so I was on duty to keep him awake at least another hour and then get up every couple of hours and wake him up. Well by 1:00 am, I was barely awake and trying desperately to keep him awake too. Finally at 1:00 we set his clock for 2:00am and I told him to make sure to wake up enough to check how he feels, then reset the clock for another hour. I kept thinking that I should be the one setting the clock every hour but I was sooooooooooo tired, and I also had to work again the next day. So I convinced myself that since he was 18 and would be away at college soon, he would have to learn to do these things anyway.
He agreed, then I said ( as I was walking out the door to my room ) and "son, if you don't wake up, then come and get me...because something might be very wrong! " As I got down the hall, I heard him laugh and then he said " Mom, do you realize what you just said?" We both began to laugh and I realized that it is a good thing he is almost grown, because I am getting to old for this parenting stuff. Some of the time when he talks to Jeff and I, we can't even hear him and have to keep asking "what did  you say?"  Growing old is harder than it looks. Yes, it is important to have your children while you are young...for this very reason. With age does come wisdom, but sometimes it comes slowly, if it comes at all!  You may be still laughing but it's true! :)

Now if there are any Doctor or nurses out there reading this, please just ignore you ever read this! :)

Good night dear friends!

"One thing they never tell you about child raising is that for the rest of your life, at the drop of a hat, you are expected to know your child's name and how old he or she is."  ~ Erma Bombeck

"The beauty of spacing children many years apart lies in the fact that parents have time to learn the mistakes that were made with the older ones - which permits them to make exactly the opposite mistakes with the younger ones."  ~Sydney J. Harris

"You know you are getting old when.. It takes twice as long to look half as good."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Happy Anniversary to Me!

Today is Jeff and I's anniversary...29 years ago today, we got married in Washington,D.C. It is so hard to imagine where we would be in 29 years, and what would be going on with our lives. I had prayed that we would be able to have a big family, and we were blessed with 4 healthy and happy kids. I always wanted to be a stay home Mom and be with the kids, and I was also blessed to do that. Two of our kids are married now, and we have an incredible son-in-law and daughter-in-law, plus two fun and sweet granddaughters. Yes, I believe our life has been even better than we imagined. As I look at our wedding photo today ( yes that is really us ), I remember how excited we were to finally start our life together, we had dated off and on for four years. We had no idea all the ups and downs we would have to face but...here we are still together and thankful for it.

IMG

I found this sweet story and thought it was the perfect Anniversary story, especially since I am a survivor. Good night dear friends!

S.H.M.I.L.Y.

My grandparents were married for over half a century, and played their own special game from the time they had met each other. The goal of their game was to write the word "shmily" in a surprise place for the other to find.
They took turns leaving "shmily" around the house, and as soon as one of them discovered it, it was their turn to hid it once more. They dragged "shmily" with their fingers through the sugar and flour containers to await whoever was preparing the next meal. They smeared it in the dew on the windows overlooking the patio where my grandma always fed us warm, homemade pudding with blue food coloring.
"Shmily" was written in the steam left on the mirror after a hot shower, where it would reappear bath after bath. At one point, my grandmother even unrolled and entire roll of toilet paper to leave "shmily" on the very last sheet. There was no end to the places "shmily" would pop up.
Little notes with"shmily" scribbled hurriedly were found on dashboards and car seats, or taped to steering wheels. The notes were stuffed inside shoes and left under pillows. "Shmily" was written in the dust upon the mantel and traced in the ashes of the fireplace.
This mysterious word was as much a part of my grandparents' house as the furniture. It took me a long time before I was able to fully appreciate my grandparents' game. Skepticism has kept me from believing in true love-one that is pure and enduring.
However, I never doubted my grandparents' relationship. They had love down pat. It was more than their flirtatious little games: it was a way of life. Their relationship was based on a devotion and passionate affection which not everyone is lucky to experience.
Grandma and Grandpa held hands every chance they could. They stole kisses as they bumped into each other in their tiny kitchen. They finished each other's sentences and shared the daily crossword puzzle and word jumble. My grandma whispered to me about how cute my grandpa was, how handsome and old he had grown to be. She claimed that she really knew "how to pick em."
Before every meal they bowed their heads and gave thanks, marveling at their blessings: a wonderful family, good fortune, and each other. But there was a dark cloud in my grandparents' life: my grandmother had breast cancer. The disease had first appeared ten years earlier. As always, Grandpa was with her every step of the way.
He comforted her in their yellow room, painted that way so that she could always be surrounded by sunshine, even when she was too sick to go outside. Now the cancer was again attacking her body.
With the help of a cane and my grandfather's steady hand, they went to church every morning. But my grandmother grew steadily weaker until, finally, she could not leave the house anymore. For a while, Grandpa would go to church alone, praying to God to watch over his wife. Then one day, what we all dreaded finally happened. Grandma was gone.
"Shmily." It was scrawled in yellow on the pink ribbons of my grandmother's funeral bouquet. As the crowd thinned and the last mourners turned to leave , my aunts, uncles, cousins and other family members came forward and gathered around Grandma one last time.
Grandpa stepped up to my grandmother's casket and, taking a shaky breath, he began to sing to her. Through his tears and grief, the song came, a deep and throaty lullaby. Shaking with my own sorrow, I will never forget that moment. For I knew that, although I couldn't begin to fathom the depth of their love, I had been privileged to witness its unmatched beauty.
S-h-m-i-l-y: See How Much I Love You! Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa, for letting me see.

~Laura Jeanne Allen

“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person”  ~ Mignon McLaughlin

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”  ~ Lao Tzu

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

People Watching!

   Today I got to work at the Quilt Shop for the Shop Hop. I have to admit, I was so excited to go into work! I could hardly wait to get there, and had a hard time leaving when I was suppose to. I love to watch and meet people! I love PEOPLE! There is always an interesting story in their life that is playing out in their attitudes, personalities, clothing and so on. I have to admit that most people are as nice as you are to them. I was the one of the ladies who stamped their passport ( that is all Quilt/Shop Hop lingo, in case you are wondering) and gave them their free block. It was fun to have them ask about the block, and to be able to say it was mine. Then I was able to tell them step by step how I made it. They really seemed to like my block, I am so glad. When I first thought about doing a block to see if might be chosen... I was a nervous wreak. So many of the women there are amazing seamstresses and they have been quilting for years, my stuff seems so elementary compared to them. But I have learned that everyone has different talents and styles. And basically we all enjoy and appreciate each others styles and talents.

   It has been a blessing to be able to not only watch, but meet so many incredible women and even some of their families. It was also great to talk to many of them and hear about their struggles in their own life. The truth is...everyone is going through something. And those experiences and struggles are truly what shape our lives, and make us who we are. I have learned to try and not judge so quickly, because if you haven't walked in their shoes, lived their life...then we really don't know exactly what they have been through!
    Yes, it was a good day!  I can hardly wait to go tomorrow...except I a so tired! Oh well, I will head to bed soon. Good night dear friends!

"Our greatest strength as a human race is our ability to acknowledge our differences, our greatest weakness is our failure to embrace them."  ~ Judith Henderson

"Opposition is nothing more than truth; though hard that truth maybe be, it is essentially beneficial to one's self. In life your greatest enemies are in reality your greatest benefactors. Learn from them; opposition only makes you stronger and more capable."

"We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It's one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it's another to think that yours is the only path."                    ~ Paulo Coelho

"I know there is strength in the differences between us. I know there is comfort where we overlap."  ~Ani Difranco

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A quilt and and pillow

    I loved this cute story, one because it shows the compassion and love of a child. Plus, it shows how important quilts are to people. When I was in the Quilt Shop the other day, I got to see all the amazing quilts that were donated for the survivors in Joplin, MO. They were beautiful and there were hundreds and thousands of hours that these quitters put into each quilt. What a gift of love!
   Sorta reminded me of this . We don't have to do much, but we should do something!

   Need to head to bed, the Shop Hop begins at our Quilt Shop tomorrow, and I am working a few hours!
   I am excited and hope that my body holds up with me! :)

   Good night dear friends!

DSC03915
 
A Pillow And A Blanket

A long time ago, a young, wealthy girl was getting ready for bed. She was saying her prayers when she heard a muffled crying coming through her window. A little frightened, she went over to the window and leaned out.
Another girl, who seemed to be about her age and homeless was standing in the alley by the rich girl's house. Her heart went out to the homeless girl, for it was the dead of winter, and the girl had no blanket, only old newspapers someone had thrown out. The rich girl was suddenly struck with a brilliant idea. She called to the other girl and said, "You there, come to my front door, please."
The homeless girl was so startled she could only manage to nod.
As quick as her legs could take her, the young girl ran down the hall to her mothers closet, and picked out an old quilt and a beat up pillow. She had to walk slower down to the front door as to not trip over the quilt which was hanging down, but she made it eventually.
Dropping both the articles, she opened the door. Standing there was the homeless girl, looking quite scared. The rich girl smiled warmly and handed both articles to the other girl. Her smile grew wider as she watched the true amazement and happiness alight upon the other girl's face. She went to bed incredibly satisfied.
In mid-morning the next day a knock came to the door. The rich girl flew to the door hoping that it was the other little girl there. She opened the large door and looked outside. It was the other little girl. Her face looked happy, and she smiled. "I suppose you want these back."
The rich little girl opened her mouth to say that she could keep them when another idea popped into her head. "No, I want them back."
The homeless girl's face fell. This was obviously not the answer she had hoped for. She reluctantly laid down the beat up things, and turned to leave when the rich girl yelled, "Wait! Stay right there."
She turned in time to see the rich girl running up the stairs and down a long corridor. Deciding whatever the rich little girl was doing wasn't worth waiting for she started to turn around and walk away. As her foot hit the first step, she felt someone tap her on the shoulder, turning she saw the rich little girl, thrusting a new blanket and pillow at her. "Have these." she said quietly.
These were her own personal belonging made of silk and down feathers.
As the two grew older they didn't see each other much, but they were never far from each other's minds. One day, the Rich girl, who was now a Rich woman got a telephone call from someone. A lawyer, saying that she was requested to see him.
When she arrived at the office, he told her what had happened. Forty years ago, when she was nine years old, she had helped a little girl in need. That grew into a middle-class woman with a husband and two children. She had recently died and left something for her in her will. "Though," the lawyer said, "it's the most peculiar thing. She left you a pillow and a blanket."
--- Author Unknown

"America is hope. It is compassion. It is excellence. It is valor."  ~ Paul Tsongas

"And as I've gotten older, I've had more of a tendency to look for people who live by kindness, tolerance, compassion, a gentler way of looking at things."   ~ Martin Scorsese

"Those who sleep under a quilt, sleep under a blanket of love!"

Monday, June 20, 2011

It's a boy!

Today dear friends of ours, had their baby boy! How excited we are that he made it here safe and sound. It made me remember what we felt like when we had Brad. Our first was Amy and so to have a boy was different and exciting. This poem below (that someone wrote for their son), describes little boys pretty well. Congratulations to our dear friends, who we know will love this little boy and who will be incredible parents!!!
WHAT IS A BOY?

A little boy is like the sun.
The warmth of his smile lights up your day.
He rises in the morning, foggy from sleep,
And as the sun's rays become stronger,
So your day becomes brighter with his presence.
He is like the last ray of sun in the evening,
Reaching out to grasp the day and hold onto it.
Bedtime comes too soon for little boys.
A little boy is like the rain.
His love is showered upon you in so many ways.
A bouquet of crushed Dandelions is presented to you like precious Roses.
A shiny rock becomes a jewel in your eyes because a little boy says,
"Isn't it beautiful Mommy?"
And two small brown arms encircling your neck
And a small voice whispering, "I love you",
Becomes a highlight in your day.
A little boy is like the earth.
Sometimes soft as the sugar sand at the beach, easily penetrated.
Sometimes hard as soil untilled, belligerent
And bossy with a mind of his own.
A little boy is like the wind.
Boisterous and full of mischief as the wind before the rain.
Gentle, as the soft breath of a spring breeze.
Soft and warm as the wind wafted in summer
And tough and blustery as the stormy winds of winter.
Roll sun, wind, earth, and rain into one form and that form will be a boy.
A gift from God.   ~Carol Bouche' Ottlinger

"A child fills a place in your heart that you never knew was empty"

"A perfect summer day to a little boy means, a scrape on the knee, mud on his face and collecting bugs in garden."

"I am a child of God"

Sunday, June 19, 2011

We just...ran away for the weekend.

Friday was Jeff's day off, and so we decided to do a Date Day! We spend the whole day visiting antique shops in Snohomish, Duvall and Monroe. We had lunch and just really enjoyed the sunshine. That afternoon a friend of ours asked us if we wanted to spend the weekend (for free) at Lake Chelan? They had rented a little apartment/ house for the summer. It took us about 2 minutes to say ....YES! We had never been there and this week is going to be our 29th Wedding Anniversary so...we took off. I didn't even have time to write my blog that night or arrange to have it done over the weekend. But it was beautiful weather there, and I got to spend the whole weekend with my best friend of 29 years, so I am not complaining. It was fun and the best part is we had no schedule, that is really a nice feeling every once in a while! Plus, I feel so blessed to also be feeling better and stronger each day!
By the way... Lake Chelan is now one of our new favorite places!



Today on our way home, the kids called to wish Jeff a Happy Father's Day. I realized that even though I wasn't very close to my Dad, I was grateful that he raised me the best he could. I am reminded of my Father, every time I make a new friend ( which is often). My Dad had a million friends, and all of them truly were his BEST FRIENDS, that is something that I got from him. As I listened to the kids talk to Jeff, I realized how blessed my kids really are to have such an incredible Father. That can make a huge difference in your life and Jeff truly was all that and more...to our kids!

Yes, Fatherhood is a very serious job and one that is not to be taken lightly. For those of you who still have your Fathers with you, I hope you were able to share your love with them today!
It is late and I am tired from traveling... but happy and grateful that we got the opportunity to just run away this weekend, thanks to our sweet friend!
Good night dear friends!



"He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it." ~Clarence Budington Kelland

"How true Daddy's words were when he said: 'All children must look after their own upbringing.' Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands." ~ Anne Frank, German Jew and Holocaust Victim


"I remember vividly a day when I was a teen, and standing by the open refrigerator. I don't recall the situation, or what brought him to say this, but my dad came over, put his hand on my shoulder, looked me in the eye, and said: “There is nothing in this world that you could ever do, that would remove my love from you. Nothing.” I felt it all my life. I was a better person because I never wanted to DO anything that would make him doubt that vow. Even though we didn't always agree (and we didn't!) I always knew I was loved deeply and unconditionally." -Marsha Grover Steed Keller

Friday, June 17, 2011

Good things in Store!

Tonight Jeff and I hosted a party for a company that sells freeze dried food, called Shelf Reliance. Now a few years ago we bought their shelves from Costco and have loved them. The idea is first-in-first out and so you have your cans rotated, and  I don't have to search for expiration dates any more. I like how it is compact and easy to see what we are running low on.

 
At the time we bought the shelves, they didn't sell food, but now they do and it was delicious. I tried it at my sister in laws house and wanted to know more, so I called the company and asked if they had a rep in my area. She was really nice and informative and the best part is... we got to taste a lot more of the samples and that is the part that actually sold itself.

I was excited for this product for a couple of reasons. First it would save me money by coming to my house, so I wouldn't have as much impulse buying, and also I wouldn't have any wasted food. On more than one occasion we throw something out that we didn't eat, not to mention the food in the freezer that we threw out because it had freezer burn. So I was very interested. Jeff was interested in it because he is a back packer and is always looking for something healthy, tasted and LIGHT to carry with him.  Anyway, we had a full house and to be honest with you, I had lots more people I wanted to invite but knew I would probably not have any more room, so I will do another party in September. We had 29 tonight and that was great.

I know this is a weird thing to write about on a  Motivational Blog, but to be honest with you I am really concerned about how to be prepared in case of emergencies. I also want any information on how to take care of my family especially with the inconsistencies of today's economic climate. The bonus was learning all the health benefits from this product.  So in a way, this is motivational to me.  A product that tastes great, is healthy and preserved well and preserves well for a long time if needed. Check it out for yourself and let me know?   www.ShelfReliance.com

Some one asked me tonight if I was going to start selling it? The answer is no, I have been there...done that for that for quiet a few years. Not because I don't believe in the product, I do ...but my body can not do parties any more. But I did think it would be nice to share the news with you. 
Good night dear friends.

"Depend not on another, but lean instead on thyself. True happiness is born of self-reliance"

"It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."  ~ Howard Ruff


"I believe that education is all about being excited about something. Seeing passion and enthusiasm helps push an educational message."  ~ Steve Irwin

"When we TAKE ACTION on what we learn, GREAT things happen."  ~ Mike Litman

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Free Gifts!!!

   Why is it that every one stops, looks or listens... when they see, or hear the word FREE?
   My grandmother always told me " That nothing is really free in life, there is always a catch". I think she was talking about the adds you see on TV, or the pop up congratulations on the computer, telling you what you won. So, although it is true that you have to be very cautious when things are said to be free, we need to remember never push the button, say yes or sign anything, until you have read all the fine print and even between the lines.
   But it is refreshing to remember these 8 gifts are really, truly FREE...check it out for yourself! :)
 
EIGHT GIFTS THAT DO NOT COST A CENT!
  1. THE GIFT OF LISTENING...
    But you must REALLY listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening.
  2. THE GIFT OF AFFECTION...
    Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and holds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.
  3. THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER...
    Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, "I love to laugh with you."
  4. THE GIFT OF A WRITTEN NOTE...
    It can be a simple "Thanks for the help" note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.
  5. THE GIFT OF A COMPLIMENT...
    A simple and sincere, "You look great in red," "You did a super job" or "That was a wonderful meal" can make someone's day.
  6. THE GIFT OF A FAVOR...
    Every day, go out of your way to do something kind
  7. THE GIFT OF SOLITUDE...
    There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.
  8. THE GIFT OF A CHEERFUL DISPOSITION...
    The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone, really it's not that hard to say, Hello or Thank You. ~ Unknown

 

"The greatest gift is a portion of thyself."  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Life is the first gift, love is the second, and understanding the third."   ~ Marge Piercy

"Remember, the greatest gift is not found in a store nor under a tree, but in the hearts of true friends."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

High School

Tonight our youngest son Lee, gradated from High School. What a bittersweet moment it was. We are so proud of him, and yet like each of his brother and sisters...wonder how the years went so fast? When he was little he was know as Little Lee, now look at him, nothing little about him. Of course he isn't as tall as his brother but he is still hoping for a growth spurt soon! He has a great heart, and that comes with a lot of compassion. He is a friend to many, and true to his believes. Yes little Little is growing up and we are struggling to think that (just like his brother and sisters ) he is preparing to go out on his own in the world. I pray that we have taught him all the things he will need to survive and thrive in the world. He has great potential, and I know he will do great things. He has a lot of great examples to follow with his siblings (who by the way, he misses very much).

So good luck Lee, we love you a ton! This is a milestone for you, and for Dad and I also ...now we have all our kids graduated from High School...yeah!!!

Graduation Announcement
Found this article written by a High School student. Can't you just remember those days yourself as you read her words? :) Sorta glad those days are behind us, aren't you?
MY PERSPECTIVE
By Courtney Crowder

Someone once told me that high school doesn't mean anything in the bigger picture of our lives. We don't learn much, because as most people know, high school is mainly a social thing. Students worry about the least important things of life. When you allow yourself to become friends with people from all walks of the world, you let yourself learn new things and get different views on life. These days, it only seems like teens are curious about a person's sexuality or who they are dating; not what kind of person he or she is on the inside.
Another thing that students tend to "gossip" about are the cliches of the school. Just because a person is popular, does not mean that person is a prep. Students who are usually titled a prep are just the people who are highly involved in activities and usually get the good grades. Although most of us seem to think that preps make bad choices and are stuck up, these are normally the people of the school who get pressured the most. They seem to have high expectations put upon them to be involved, have great grades, and be friendly.
So just take a minute to realize this about a person the next time someone looks exhausted. Nobody has a perfect life. If we would just get to know the people who we all think are better than everyone else, maybe we wouldn't be so quick to judge them. You may find that you have common interests with them or even some of the same goals. Everyone needs someone who can look past their flaws to find the person that they have hiding inside.
Once you find that person, hold onto them tight, and never let go; because you might make a decision or mistake which may cause other people to turn against you. You will need that person to walk beside you. This should be a person who you can tell your everything to, and expect them to laugh and cry along with you.

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."   ~ Dr. Seuss

"Graduation is not the end, rather the beginning."  ~ Orrin Hatch

Monday, June 13, 2011

What do Angels look like?

You probably have experienced like me, when someone touched your life in such a way that you were sure they had to be an Angel sent from above. Well, I do believe that is exactly what we are suppose to be to those around us. I loved this poem, what a great reminder to look around and really see what Angels look like, you might be surprised. Good night dear friends!

[Blue+eyed+angel.jpg]

 

WHAT DO ANGELS LOOK LIKE?

Like the little old lady who returned your wallet yesterday.
Like the taxi driver who told you that your eyes light up the world when you smile.
Like the small child who showed you the wonder in simple things.
Like the poor man who offered to share his lunch with you.
Like the rich man who showed you that it really is all possible, if only you believe.
Like the stranger who just happened to come along, when you had lost your way.
Like the friend who touched your heart, when you didn't think you had one to touch.
Angels come in all sizes and shapes, all ages and skin types and colors.
Some with freckles, some with dimples, some with wrinkles, some without.
They come disguised as friends, enemies, nurses, teachers, students, lovers, and fools.
They don't take life too seriously.
They travel light.
They leave no forwarding address.
They ask nothing in return.
They wear sneakers and gossamer wings.
They get a deal on dry cleaning.
They are hard to find when your eyes are closed, but, they are everywhere you look when you choose to see.

"Be an angel to someone else whenever you can, as a way of thanking God for the help your angel has given you"  ~ Eileen Elias Freeman

"If we were all like angels, the world would be a heavenly place.'  ~Author Unknown

"Anyone can be an angel."  ~Author Unknown

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Healing but not healed.

Today in church one of the speakers spoke of Service and how vital it is that we stand willing and ready to help any of our brothers and sisters in need. He then told of his experience of going to Joplin, MO just hours after the terrible tornado hit. He was heading there for business, but ended up doing a whole different type of work...service. His voice broke as he related heart wrenching stories and experiences that he witnessed while in Joplin, MO

He ended, reading a letter that had been broadcast over the air ways in Joplin. It was from a professor who had been through such an experience himself, and knew first hand what they were up against. This was his service to them. It was amazing, profound and truly a gift. Please take time to read it and be grateful for the many blessings in your life, and please continue to keep the people in Joplin, MO in your thoughts and prayers.

A letter to Joplin, from a Tuscaloosa Professor    May 26, 2011

To the good people of Joplin, Missouri:

This will get worse before it gets better. I know this only because of what I’ve observed from my own firsthand experiences in Tuscaloosa, Ala., a city much like yours that was ravaged a month prior to your own disaster.

Likely, you watched from afar, which is precisely what we do now; our cities forever wedded by our shared season of misfortune.

Allow me to share with you a difficult truth:

In the coming hours and days your death count is likely to rise. Cell phone reception will return — which, on the surface, seems like a good thing — though this increased communication will bring mostly bad news.

People will begin to understand who was lost and how and as their stories sift from the rubble, it will soon become clear that everybody knows somebody now gone. You will begin hearing stories, though unlike the phone calls, not all of them will end badly. Like the one where the bathtub blows away but the family remains safely inside.

A dog will be pulled unscathed from the rubble, or even more unbelievable (though true) will survive two full weeks on broken legs until reunited with his family. Be sure to take your comfort where you can.

If your city is like our city, then soon, people will begin to endow the storm with a conscience. They will talk about how the tornado leveled one house but left another, how it made that choice. You will begin fitting nature’s lunacy into some strange logic, bring God into the equation and speak of “master plans” not yet revealed to His flock. This is a good technique, and one that we have found to be quite useful in Tuscaloosa. The fitting together of pieces offers the same distraction as any good puzzle — providing an outlet to busy oneself when the mind is in need of a rest.

I should warn you, also, that you will soon be inundated with a storm of another sort. Everyone will want to help you, and even those of you who were spared the worst of it will receive a knock on your door, someone pleading with you to take a bottle of water.

Accept it.

This is a small gift from a person who feels as helpless as you do, and even if the good you are doing feels not good enough, just remember you’re helping by taking it.

I write to you today in the hopes that my recent experiences here might offer you a momentary glimpse into your future.

One month from today, you will not be healed, but healing.

The scrap will be piled like bunkers alongside the roads, and eventually, even the choir of sirens will dissipate. One day soon, cars will once again outnumber ambulances, and in a few weeks time, you’ll see a child throw a Frisbee and for a moment, forget that anything more treacherous ever collected in the wind.

I knew our cities were linked when I watched the on-site meteorologist from the Weather Channel choke up while on the air.

He was describing your world turned inside out, your people stumbling, when he broke from his narrative to admit that Joplin “looks very reminiscent of what we saw last month in (pause) Tuscaloosa.”

His pause seems to say everything that we could not, reminding me of one final piece of advice I humbly bestow upon you today: You will find, I think, that the inexplicable nature of nature is another hard-earned side effect of your troubles. For a month now, I have been trying to write my way out of disaster, but it is still here, and it will be with us until all the words run out.

Yet words can provide comfort as well, and if, in the future, you find that your own experiences might prove useful for another storm-torn town, I encourage you to write to them as I have written to you.

Remind them that while today appears dreary, all forecasts point to sunnier days ahead.

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"Hope is putting faith to work when doubting would be easier."  ~Author Unknown

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Love is in the air!

   Today I was able to attend a dear friend of mine's Bridal Shower. She is more like one of my kids actually, we knew her back in High School when she was over at our house a lot, she was friend's with our son. She is a real sweetheart, and it was a treat to be able to celebrate with her. I was able to also see her grandmother, sister and nieces again at the shower.
Her mother passed away this past year from battling Cancer. She was a two time survivor like myself. As I drove home from the Bridal Shower, I couldn't help wishing that I could pick up the phone and call her Mom (Diane) ...on the other side.
    Diane was a wonderful friend, wife, mother and example to me and many others. To say good-bye to her was hard, and I know that her family is still missing her terribly.
   I really wanted to tell Diane how sweet her little granddaughter is...she was born just a few days after she passed away. They actually named her after her grandmother. I wanted to tell her how big her oldest granddaughter is, and what a great Big Sister she has become, she is almost 4 now. I would have let her know that her Mom is still struggling with her loss. She says it is still hard to go a day without crying. I am not sure any one knows how to handle the loss of a child, in her case this was her second child that has passed away.
   I would have told Diane what a great family that her daughter is marrying into, and how they will always be there for her. I would tell her that still many of her friends are there to rally and support her daughters, and husband. I would tell her how brave and amazing they are. I would also tell her that a hole is still left in our hearts from her passing. I would thank her again for her incredible example to all of us.
Yes, there was a lot of love in the air today for her daughter and I think that my dear friend could feel it, I know I could.

[ring.jpg]

"The past is behind us, love is in front and all around us."  ~Terri Guillemets

"When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses." ~ Joyce Brothers

"Her children arise up, and call her blessed."  ~ Proverbs 31:28

Results are in.

Today I went to the Doctor to go over my test results, and hopefully understand why my energy has been so very low. We started out and as it went on, it seemed like there were a few reasons for the fatigue. My iron was very low, that has always been a struggle for me. My Vitamin B levels were very low. My Vitamin D was very low. There were some concerns about my thyroid that we are looking into. Plus I am still battling the Mono as I had suspected. You can have the mono virus your whole life, but it depends if you can keep the levels low enough, mine were high again. So I am not going to get into how we are going to work on all of these things but just to let you know...YES there are a few reasons why I might not be feeling too well. Thanks for your concern, thoughts and prayers. You are true friends!

Life really is full of lessons isn't it? There are constant reminders that we need to keep diligent in how we take care of our bodies. How we treat our body, what we feed our body and how much exercise we do or don't do. All these things plus hundred more things...all effect us. So I will continue to keep trying, take a bit more time out of my life to rest, take my supplements and do all I can to get my numbers up and in some cases down.

Well, it is my date night and I just got up from my nap. I bet Jeff wonders at times, why he can't have a more energetic and exciting wife? I am trying ...but lately I have been tired and boring. Good thing he loves me so much!

Yes, life is tough but wonderful at the same time!
Good night dear friends!

 

"The difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson."  ~ Tom Bodett

"Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood."  ~ Helen Keller 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

33 Years of Learning

   Today is June 9th 2011 and 33 years ago, I was getting ready for my first date with Jeff ( my husband ). I remember being so nervous and wanting to look just right. My Mom and Grandmother were waiting on the porch, I was hoping that they wouldn't scare him off by something they said about me. I must have looked out my window a million times before I could see his little red truck coming up the road. You see at the time... I lived in West Virginia, and we lived out in the country, and up a dirt road about a mile. So if you looked out my window from upstairs, you could see someone's car coming. I didn't want to look like I was anxious, so after I heard him drive up, I went back and checked in the mirror for the hundredth time ...to see if I looked ok.
   Today I hurried and went to the store, got some special things for dinner, picked up a card on the way home and again, I looked out the window for his car...actually today I forgot, but he rode his motorcycle to work. I still was excited to see him. It is hard to believe that it was 33 years ago today that we had our first date!
   We have been through so much together, many ups and downs and yet, if I had it to do all over again...I would still choose him! He is my best friend, and I am blessed. I just pray that we will have another 33 years together!
Good night dear friends

[Proposal+Bear+2.jpg]

50 Years of Learning
by Dorothy Casper 

It was delightful to watch as the friends and relatives gathered in the cultural
hall of the church to congratulate and wish the couple well, whom were celebrating
their 50th wedding anniversary. The room was beautifully decorated with momentous
scenes throughout their lives growing up and later together.

The joyous sound of laughter was heard throughout the room as the guest mingled
throughout and as they enjoyed the delicious buffet. They each had moments to share
that they had had with the honored couple.
As the couple was ushered to two high back king and queen chairs the program began.
Listening, memory served me well, of the past years of my life.  The oldest son
began the introduction along with his gratitude to those attending to honor his
parents. A beautiful well-written program included the four children, their mates,
12 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.  Posterity, their heirs, I believe it’s
called, were nervous wanting to do the very best for the couple whom they all loved
in different ways and for different reasons.
   As I listened I wondered, “what brought this family to this point?” “Did they
have some kind of formula to teach by, to learn from, to have this tremendous
gathering?”
As each child took part there was humor, tears and beautiful talent displayed.
Viewing the esteemed couple one could see their hands entwined as they had done so
much in the past 56 years.  Anyone who had known them previously had often seen this
same devotion.
Then the music began and the couple was highlighted in pictures from a very young
age until the present time.  The 50′s music set everyone attending tapping their
toes, smiling and many just remembering, their own bygone years.
It was over much too, soon.  As the couple was called to the microphone, the
clapping was deafening.  The children and grandchildren stood smiling at the couple
who meant so much to them and thinking to themselves,  “I want to be just like them
- still holding hands after 56 years – still in love.”  
Still holding hands, they approached the microphone together.  “Words elude me, and
my heart is so full of joy for my family and for all of you kind friends who came to
wish us well,” she said.  Then she introduced each member of the family and it was
obvious she could have said something endearing about each one.  He moved a little
closer as he began to speak, expressing his gratitude to the family as well to
everyone attending and then turning to her he gave her a hug and kiss.  With his
arms still around her he said, “It’s been a good trip, honey – It’s been a good
trip.”
Now, as I sit at my computer, I am contemplating just what he meant by… it’s been a
good trip The meaning sinks in – although there were many ups and downs – hardships
- joyous times and sad times  as every family has, maybe, just maybe, the answer
lies in continually saying and showing and meaning,  “I Love You.”   Perhaps that is
the answer for everyone – to care – to love in spite of.  

"TO LOVE IS NOTHING...
TO BE LOVED IS SOMETHING...
TO LOVE AND BE LOVED IS EVERYTHING!"

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Falling apart!

Many times in my blog I have shared with you my BIGGER THAN ME DAYS! Yes, those are the days when I just couldn't  seem to handle things any more, or when I was too scared to think; or too tired to move. I have always tried to allow myself those BIGGER THAN ME DAYS. I tried to remember that everyone has them and it's ok. What is not ok is ...to have them day after day without any hope or faith, that things will get better. Then I believe you (or I ) have a problem, and may need the help of someone else. Asking for help is ok too, nothing wrong with realizing you can't do it all, or all the time.  
So tonight when I was looking for something to write about, I came across this article and thought ....hey I am not the only one who has Bigger Than Me days or days where (as they say) you are falling apart. Why is it that misery loves company? That is another old saying isn't it? But I do believe there is some truth in it, I actually feel better when I realize I am not the only person to have experienced this or that. Just knowing that you are not alone, helps you get over some of the struggles you are having.
 SOMETIMES WE NEED TO FALL APART 
We don't always have to be strong. Sometimes our strength is expressed in being vulnerable. Sometimes we need to fall apart to regroup and stay on track. We all have days when we cannot push any harder, cannot hold back self-doubt, cannot stop focusing on fear, cannot be strong.
There are days when we cannot focus on being responsible. Sometimes we cry in front of people. We expose our tiredness, irritability, or anger. Those days are okay.
Part of taking care of ourselves means we give ourselves permission to "fall apart" when we need to. We do not need to be perpetual towers of strength. We ARE strong. We have proven that our strength will continue if we allow ourselves the courage to feel scared, weak, and vulnerable when we need to experience those feelings.
Today, help me to know that it is okay to allow myself to be human. Help me not to feel guilty or punish myself when I need to "fall apart."

--- Author Unknown         http://www.motivateus.com/stories/swntfa.htm


Today, was not a falling apart day, or a bigger than me day. Today was a good day, oh I am still struggling with my energy and my aching body but...I was healthy enough to teach my class today so... I am a happy girl! Tired, but happy!
I hope if you experience one of these Bigger than me or falling apart days, that you will be patient with yourself and that you will never give up hope faith that tomorrow will be a better day! Then open up your blinds (tomorrow morning of course) and enjoy the beautiful world we live in!
Good night dear friends.
                                       

"Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity." ~Lou Holtz

"The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity."   ~Ulysses S. Grant

"Adversity is a fact of life. It can’t be controlled. What we can control is how we react to it. " ~Unknown

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Forgiveness

I like this short story about forgiveness. Brings it right home! Now I will always think of a bag of potatoes when I don't forgive! Well, if it works...it is sure worth it! Night dear friends!
BAG OF POTATOES


One of my teachers had each one of us bring a clear plastic bag and a sack of potatoes to class. For every person we'd refuse to forgive in our life, we were told to choose a potato, write on it the name and date, and put it in the plastic bag. Some of our bags, as you can imagine, were quite heavy.
We were then told to carry this bag with us everywhere for one week, putting it beside our bed at night, on the car seat when driving, next to our desk at work.
The hassle of lugging this around with us made it clear what a weight we were carrying spiritually, and how we had to pay attention to it all the time to not forget, and keep leaving it in embarrassing places.
Naturally, the condition of the potatoes deteriorated to a nasty slime. This was a great metaphor for the price we pay for keeping our pain and heavy negativity! http://www.motivateus.com/stories/bag-of.htm

"Too often we think of forgiveness as a gift to the other person, and while that's true, it clearly is also a gift for ourselves!"

"Not forgiving someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die."  ~ Unknown 

Monday, June 6, 2011

The gift of LOVE!

I read this story years ago and for some reason I thought I had already shared it with you. I looked through the search engine on my blog, and I could not find it...so here it is. I loved this story when I first read it. It is true, love is really the best gift anyone could share with you. It is a bit long but sooooooooooooo worth it!

Good night dear friends!

THE BUS PASSENGER

The passengers on the bus watched sympathetically as the attractive young woman with the white cane made her way carefully up the steps. She paid the driver and, using her hands to feel the location of the seats, walked down the aisle and found the seat he'd told her was empty. Then she settled in, placed her briefcase on her lap and rested her cane against her leg.
It had been a year since Susan, thirty-four, became blind. Due to a medical misdiagnosis she had been rendered sightless, and she was suddenly thrown into a world of darkness, anger, frustration and self-pity. Once a fiercely independent woman, Susan now felt condemned by this terrible twist of fate to become a powerless, helpless burden on everyone around her. "How could this have happened to me?" she would plead, her heart knotted with anger.
But no matter how much she cried or ranted or prayed, she knew the painful truth her sight was never going to return. A cloud of depression hung over Susan's once optimistic spirit. Just getting through each day was an exercise in frustration and exhaustion. And all she had to cling to was her husband Mark.
Mark was an Air Force officer and he loved Susan with all of his heart. When she first lost her sight, he watched her sink into despair and was determined to help his wife gain the strength and confidence she needed to become independent again. Mark's military background had trained him well to deal with sensitive situations, and yet he knew this was the most difficult battle he would ever face.
Finally, Susan felt ready to return to her job, but how would she get there? She used to take the bus, but was now too frightened to get around the city by herself. Mark volunteered to drive her to work each day, even though they worked at opposite ends of the city.
At first, this comforted Susan and fulfilled Mark's need to protect his sightless wife who was so insecure about performing the slightest task. Soon, however, Mark realized that this arrangement wasn't working - it was hectic, and costly. Susan is going to have to start taking the bus again, he admitted to himself. But just the thought of mentioning it to her made him cringe. She was still so fragile, so angry. How would she react?
Just as Mark predicted, Susan was horrified at the idea of taking the bus again. "I'm blind!" she responded bitterly. "How am I supposed to know where I'm going? I feel like you're abandoning me."
Mark's heart broke to hear these words, but he knew what had to be done. He promised Susan that each morning and evening he would ride the bus with her, for as long as it took, until she got the hang of it. And that is exactly what happened.
For two solid weeks, Mark, military uniform and all, accompanied Susan to and from work each day. He taught her how to rely on her other senses, specifically her hearing, to determine where she was and how to adapt to her new environment. He helped her befriend the bus drivers who could watch out for her, and save her a seat. He made her laugh, even on those not-so-good days when she would trip exiting the bus, or drop her briefcase.
Each morning they made the journey together, and Mark would take a cab back to his office. Although this routine was even more costly and exhausting than the previous one, Mark knew it was only a matter of time before Susan would be able to ride the bus on her own. He believed in her, in the Susan he used to know before she'd lost her sight, who wasn't afraid of any challenge and who would never, ever quit.
Finally, Susan decided that she was ready to try the trip on her own. Monday morning arrived, and before she left, she threw her arms around Mark, her temporary bus riding companion, her husband, and her best friend.
Her eyes filled with tears of gratitude for his loyalty, his patience, his love. She said good-bye, and for the first time, they went their separate ways. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday... Each day on her own went perfectly, and Susan had never felt better. She was doing it! She was going to work all by herself!
On Friday morning, Susan took the bus to work as usual. As she was paying for her fare to exit the bus, the driver said, "Boy, I sure envy you." Susan wasn't sure if the driver was speaking to her or not. After all, who on earth would ever envy a blind woman who had struggled just to find the courage to live for the past year?
Curious, she asked the driver, "Why do you say that you envy me?" The driver responded, "It must feel so good to be taken care of and protected like you are." Susan had no idea what the driver was talking about, and asked again, "What do you mean?"
The driver answered, "You know, every morning for the past week, a fine looking gentleman in a military uniform has been standing across the corner watching you when you get off the bus. He makes sure you cross the street safely and he watches you until you enter your office building. Then he blows you a kiss, gives you a little salute and walks away. You are one lucky lady."
Tears of happiness poured down Susan's cheeks. For although she couldn't physically see him, she had always felt Mark's presence. She was lucky, so lucky, for he had given her a gift more powerful than sight, a gift she didn't need to see to believe - the gift of love that can bring light where there had been darkness. ~ Unknown

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage." ~ Lao Tzu

"Do all things with love."  ~Og Mandino

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Self Reliance

Today and church we talked about Self Reliance and why that is so important. Not too many people would argue with that, especially after all the natural catastrophes we have been seeing all around the world. I thought it was a great reminder.The teacher then challenged us to pick at least one of these areas that we were going to set a goal about, and strive to really achieve in the near future. Here they are, see for yourself what things you are doing great at and other areas where you ( just like me ) could us a little goal setting at.

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The six areas of self-reliance that can help us prepare to meet challenges in the future:
            Health...we need to take care of their minds and bodies.  We should eat nutritious food, exercise regularly, control their weight, and get adequate sleep. We should shun substances or practices that abuse their bodies or minds and that could lead to addiction. We should practice good sanitation and hygiene and obtain adequate medical and dental care. We should also strive to cultivate good relationships with family members and others.
            Education – Education provides understanding and skills that can help people develop self-reliance.  We should study the scriptures and other good books. We should improve our ability to read, write and do basic mathematics. We should obtain as much education as we can, including formal or technical schooling where possible.  This will help us develop our talents, find suitable employment, and make a valuable contribution to our families, Church and the community.


           Employment – Work is the foundation upon which self-reliance and temporal well-being rest.  We should prepare for and carefully select a suitable occupation or self-employment that will provide for our own and our families’ needs.  We should become skilled at their work, be diligent and trustworthy, and give honest work for the pay and benefits we receive.
            Home Storage – To help care for ourselves and our family, we should build a three-month supply of food that is part of our normal diet. We should also store drinking water in case the water supply becomes polluted or disrupted.
            Finances – To become financially self-reliant, we should avoid, unnecessary debt, use a budget and live within a plan.  We should gradually build a financial reserve by regularly saving a portion of our income.
            Spiritual Strength – Spiritual strength is essential to a person’s temporal and eternal well-being.  We can grow in spiritual strength as we develop our testimonies, exercise faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, obey God’s commandments, pray daily, study the scriptures .

Doing “all we can do” is the essence of self-reliance.  But we cannot do everything all at once.  We need to set some goals to help us on the path of self-reliance. 
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" Self-reliance is the only road to true freedom, and being one's own person is its ultimate reward."  ~ Patricia Sampson

"Depend not on another, but lean instead on thyself. True happiness is born of self-reliance'

"There's no one to stop you but yourself"  ~ David Thomas

Saturday, June 4, 2011

By small and simple things...

I loved the moral of this story! How many times, I have missed the little things because I was too busy getting ready or working, toward the big things! Just one more important lesson for today.

Good night dear friends!

"There was a young merchant from Boston, who in 1849, as the story goes, was caught up  in the fervor of the California gold rush. He sold all of his possessions to seek his fortune in the California rivers, which he was told were filled with gold nuggets so big that one could hardly carry them.
Day after endless day, the young man dipped his pan into the river and came up empty. His only reward was a growing pile of rocks. Discouraged and broke, he was ready to quit until one day an old, experienced prospector said to him, " That's quite a pile of rocks you are getting there, my boy."
The young man replied, "There's no gold here. I'm going back home."
Walking over to the pile of rocks, the old prospector said, "Oh, there is gold all right. You just have to know where to find it." He picked two rocks up in his hands and crashed them together. One of the rocks split open, revealing several flecks of gold sparkling in the sunlight.
Noticing a bulging leather pouch fastened to the prospector's waist, the young man said, "I'm looking for nuggets like the ones in your pouch, not just tiny flecks."
The old prospector extended his pouch toward the young man, who looked inside, expecting to see several large nuggets. He was stunned to see that the pouch was filled with thousands of flecks of gold.
The old prospector said, "Son, it seems to me you are so busy looking for large nuggets that you're missing filling your pouch with these precious flecks of gold. The patient accumulation of these little flecks has brought me my wealth."

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” ~ Robert Brault

"One day at a time...this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering."

"Live is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hope

Today I went to the Doctor and had blood work done, to see why my extreme fatigue is back. We won't know any of the results till next week, so I will have to be patient. I hope that it isn't Mono again. I had such a hard time getting over it the last time, I think I actually battled it for a year and a half. Anyway, I just need to think positive and be hopeful.

A dear friend of mine called today, and asked me to pray for a mutual friend of ours. She then told the situation that was going on in her family. They have gone through a couple of tragedies in just this past year.
There are people who experience tragedy and come out stronger for it, and others who have seemed to lost faith in anything, and even lost their desire to live. What is the difference? I believe it is where their faith is, and if they will give their trials to the Lord. Trying to do it on your own, can be overwhelming and almost impossible.
I myself try to remember not to say WHY? But What am I to learn from this? Who can I help from this experience? It also helps if I focus on the many blessings I have, even during the times of terrible troubles. There is always something to be grateful for.
Yes, having hope is a better way of life. Trusting our Heavenly Father, and realizing that He will never give us more than we can handle, and that He will never leave us alone during our trials is ... a great comfort to me.

I hope I can remember these things, more and more each day. Good night dear friends!

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"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished
by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope
at all." ~ Dale Carnegie

"There are those who have met disaster, which almost seems defeat, who have become somewhat soured in their natures; but if they stop to think, even the adversity which has come to them may prove a means of spiritual uplift. Adversity itself may lead toward and not away from God and spiritual enlightenment."  ~ David O. McKay

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Staycation

I heard on the radio the other day, the dis-jockey say "have fun this summer, make some plans whether is it a vacation or a staycation...make the most of it! I thought that is definitely a positive way to think, if you don't have the means or time to go on a real vacation. You can stay home and have a Staycation! That was quite an inspiring message. How many times, I have felt bad because of things that I could not do. Maybe it was because of my health limitations, or we didn't have the money or the time off. Whatever the reason is...we need to remember we can always have a STAYCATION! We can enjoy where we are, and who we are with, every day! It is all on how we look at things.

I remember well when Amy was in Elementary School, and there was a big Carnival that was coming up. Amy could hardly wait to go, she knew there would be all kinds of games and prizes and fun things to eat. I remember also when she got up to go to school a few days before and was itching, by the time she was ready to get on the bus, we had diagnosed that she had the Chicken Pox, and school nor the Carnival that weekend was an option. She was broken hearted. So I went to work, making up games and went to the store and bought all kinds of little prizes. It still wasn't the same as the big school Carnival but...we had our own Carnival and made the best out of our situation. Then at a young age, you teach your children about life and how it isn't always fair. You teach them that things can go on and you can still be happy, even if they aren't exactly what you wanted to happen. Yes, life...it is hard and yet it is great!
Perspective is a wonderful thing, not always easy to have...but very needed, especially during the hard times.

So I will try to remember when life doesn't go the way I planned, to be willing to go on a STAYCATION, and enjoy every minute of it!

 

"Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out."

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans" ~ John Lennon

"The world has so many lessons to teach you. I consider the world, our earth, to be like a school, and our life, the classrooms. Sometimes on our planet life school, the lessons often come dressed up as detours and road blocks and sometimes as full blown crises. And the secret I've learned to getting ahead is being open to the lessons"  ~ Oprah Winfrey