Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Quiet Heroine... Irena Sendler

What an incredible story!

During WWII, Irena got permission to work in the Warsaw ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist. 

She had an anterior motive'. 

She KNEW what the Nazi's plans were for the Jews (she, being German). 

Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried, and she carried, in the back of her truck, a burlap sack (for larger kids). 

She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. 

The soldiers, of course, wanted nothing to do with the dog, and the barking covered the kids/infants noises. 

During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out, and save, 2500 kids/infants.

She was caught, and the Nazi's broke both her legs, both her arms, and beat her severely. 

Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out, and kept them in a glass jar buried under a tree in her back yard.   After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived the horror, and reunited the family. 

Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted. 

In MEMORIAM - 63 YEARS LATER  

Irena Sendler was an elderly, relatively unknown Polish social worker until four teenagers from Kansas in search of a National History Day project discovered what she had done. Sendler had helped to rescue 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II, before being captured and sentenced to die. But she escaped and lived quietly until the students found her and wrote a play about her. Sendler died on May 12, 2008, aged 98 years.

http://www.silverplanet.com/photos/quiet-heroine-irena-sendler/6165

"There's no excuse for the young people not knowing who the heroes and heroines are or were."  ~ Nina Simon


" A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles."  ~ Christopher Reeve

" A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself." ~ Joseph Campbell

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Parable of the Milk Jug

Well, today I worked at the Quilt Shop, then got to visit a dear friend who just had hip surgery and then tonight we are doing a Baby Shower for another dear friend. So I believe I am going to be pretty wiped out so I wanted to go ahead and do my blog now. This was such a cute story with a wonderful moral. It didn't have a title, so I called it the Parable of the Milk Jug.  It is one that we all would do well to remember, especially during the hard times.

I am so grateful for all of you, who have been there to lift me up...when my burdens were soooooooooo heavy!
Thank you for that!
Good night dear friends!

Once  there was a women who was deep in a tremendous trial; she had a small family to support and this burden was just to difficult to bear. She constantly called upon the Lord, begging him to remove this trial from her life, and couldn't understand why her prayers seemed to go unanswered. One day after she returned from the grocery store, she was carrying in the groceries when she spied her little three year old trying desperately trying to lift the gallon jug of milk. The little girl pulled and tugged but to no avail, she couldn't move the jug. The mother watched her struggle as the little girl tried so hard to help her mother with the load. Finally the woman picked up the jug, as she had the Lord to do for her so many times, taking the milk from the child. The little girl began to cry, "I want to do it...." she mumbled. The she lifted her head as her eyes lit up, "Mom, I know! I'll carry the milk and you carry me."

 

"There is no education like adversity."
Benjamin Disraeli

"Pain is inevitable.  Suffering is optional."  ~M. Kathleen Casey

"I know God will not give me anything I can't handle.  I just wish that He didn't trust me so much."  ~Mother Teresa

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Grandma Test

This was a cute story that my friend sent me today, so I thought I would pass it on...for the sole purpose of making your smile!  Of course, I didn't show it to Jeff! :)
Good night dear friends!

GRANDMAS ARE SMART
I was out walking with my Grandson. He picked up something off of the ground and started to put it in his mouth. I took the item away from him and I asked him not to do that.

"Why?" my Grandson asked.

"Because it's been on the ground; you don't know where it's been, it's dirty, and probably has germs, and sometimes germs make little boys sick and not feel good" I replied.

At this point, my Grandson looked at me with total admiration and asked, "Grandma, how do you know all this stuff?? You are so smart."

I was thinking quickly and said to him. "All Grandmas know stuff. It's on the Grandma Test. You have to know it, or they don't let you be a Grandma."

We walked along in silence for 2 or 3 minutes, but he was evidently pondering this new information.

"Oh....I get it! He beamed, So if you don't pass the test you have to be the Grandpa."

"Exactly," I replied with a big smile on my face.

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"Becoming a grandmother is wonderful.  One moment you're just a mother.  The next you are all-wise and prehistoric."  ~Pam Brown

"If becoming a grandmother was only a matter of choice, I should advise every one of you straight away to become one.  There is no fun for old people like it!"  ~Hannah Whithall Smith

"You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother."  ~Proverb

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Lighthouses

Yesterday we went to Mulkilteo Beach for lunch. It was beautiful and they even had a light house there. I don't know if it is used now, or just more for tourists to go through and understand the history behind it. So you could go up to the top and look out at the beautiful beach and water. Inside, along with all the history about Mulkilteo was a quote that I thought was wonderful, and so I wanted to share it with you.

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“I can think of no other edifice constructed by man as altruistic as a lighthouse. They were built only to serve.”  ~ George Bernard Shaw

al·tru·is·tic...unselfishly concerned for or devoted to the welfare of others

I have always loved lighthouses and even more so now that we moved to Seattle. We love visiting the beaches and Lighthouses. As I look at the Lighthouses I think of all the good they do, the hope they provide and think of all the service they give. Much like what we should be doing in our own lives. Something to think about!
Night dear friends.

" We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining, they just shine."  ~ Dwight L. Moody

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The new normal!

   As I watch the weather around the the US this past year, I am amazed at all the extremes which have been happening. As I looked at these photos today, I realized how blessed we have been here in Seattle. Many have complained that we didn't have much of a summer but, that would be considered an inconvenience, not a disaster... like many others have had.
    Like this article said, after conditions keep happening over and over again, we probably should consider it as the "new normal".  Normal or not, it makes me think and rethink about how prepared I am. I know you can't prepare for everything, but being prepared as much as you can... is just responsible and that is just what I want to be for me and my family. So tomorrow, I believe I will start rearranging my garage to get things in order, and then start a new check list of what we need to have on hand. I know this isn't the most positive thing to talk about, but after looking at these photos... I am definitely more MOTIVATED to do something. And this is... as you know a MOTIVATIONAL blog! :)
Good night dear friends!

 

Extreme weather: 'the new normal'

Federal climate scientists say 2011 has been one of the worst in U.S. history for extreme weather. With punishing blizzards, epic flooding, devastating drought and a heat wave that has broiled a huge swath of the country, the year's weather has been unrelenting and extraordinary.

By Julie Cart and Hailey Branson-Potts

Los Angeles Times

Mississippi River floods: A levee saves a home.

Mississippi River floods: A levee saves a home.

Tornadoes: May 26 twister kills 141 in Joplin, Mo.

Tornadoes: May 26 twister kills 141 in Joplin, Mo.

Drought: A cracked lake bed in San Angelo, Texas

Drought: A cracked lake bed in San Angelo, Texas

Groundhog Day blizzard: Chicago bears brunt.

Groundhog Day blizzard: Chicago bears brunt.

The weather's apparent caprice puzzled many as it played out: Farmers in Texas and Oklahoma unable to plant during the worst drought on record watched as farmers along the Mississippi River lost their fields to floodwater. Much of the nation suffered through stifling heat while the West Coast enjoyed a mild summer.

Climate scientists note the predictable and cumulative impacts of climate change — hot and cold — to account for much of the extreme weather, although the connection between tornadoes and climate is not clear. In any event, scientists caution the future will hold greater temperature extremes, and for longer duration.

Officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say extreme weather has been more frequent since 1980.

"I think it would be a mistake to not think that this has become the new normal," McManus said. "Until it stops happening, we should expect it to continue

 

"Luck can often mean simple taking advantage of a situation at the right moment. It is possible to "make" your luck by being always prepared."  ~ Michael Korda

" Forwarned, forearmed; to be prepared is half the victory."  ~ Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

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

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Siblings

It is a bit weird to have two kids at home now, instead of just one. But since they were little, they have been good friends. I have to admit it is nice having another girl around the house too! I keep hearing a lot about Empty Nesters, and I am a bit worried about getting to that stage of our lives, so I am just trying to just enjoy each day while they are here.
I took this photo of Lauren and Lee the other day, and realized how terribly grateful I am... that my kids are all close to one another. What a gift... LOVE is, in a family. They really are best friends with each other, yes they can still fuss and fight but in the end, they always work it out and learn and grow from it. What a concept? I hope their children will have the same type of friendship with each other. Families Are Forever, how grateful I am to know that.
My dear friend just lost her brother in a car accident. She is heart broken and was flying home to help and comfort his family. This same friend knows a lot about pain and suffering, she lost one of her sons at a young age, and also in a car accident. So I am sure this whole thing with her brother has brought back some painful memories. Yet she is amazing, she continues to help and comfort others and stays close to God. She is such a great example to me. So tonight, think about your family, and make sure to tell them how much you love and appreciate them...I am going to.
Good night dear friends!

 

"While we try to teach our children all about life,
Our children teach us what life is all about."  ~ Angela Schwindt

"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."  ~Frederick Douglass

"A happy family is but an earlier heaven."  ~ John Bowring

"Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one."  ~Jane Howard

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Amazing!

Sunday a friend of ours, spoke about service to others. One of the stories that he related, was about a man who developed this technology called Eagle Eyes. I can't tell the story exactly word for word but it went something like this... This man would walk to work everyday. He had to pass Handicap kids and it made him feel uncomfortable, so he would cross the street so that he wouldn't have to have that feeling. Basically the technology that he created, ended up helping these same kids that he used to try and avoid. When he realized that something he developed could actually help someone he was excited and said something like this..." Now I know what I want to do for the rest of my life. I am going to dedicate my life to these handicapped kids that I used to avoid every day."

I just thought this was an amazing story, especially since I used to work with severely handicapped children...they are special spirits! Any of us who have these special spirits in our homes and families, already know how blessed we are to have them in our lives!

EagleEyes Project

The purpose of the EagleEyes Project is to help people with severe physical disabilities develop and be educated to their fullest by enabling them to access the computer. We work with people, mainly children and young adults, who cannot speak and can move only their eyes or head.

During the past ten years we have developed two access technologies. EagleEyes allows people to control the computer by moving only their eyes. EagleEyes works through five electrodes placed on the person’s head. The Camera Mouse allows people to control the computer by moving their head. The Camera Mouse works through a video camera or web camera connected to the computer. Both access technologies function as standard mouse replacements in Windows systems. They work with standard commercial Windows applications software. We also have developed a number of application programs (for example on-screen keyboard programs, games, and a browser) that work well with EagleEyes and Camera Mouse and are available for free download or on a CD.

The EagleEyes Project is centered at Boston Collegemainly as a joint project between the Carroll School of Management, the Computer Science Department, and the Campus School. Boston College recently signed a licensing agreement with the Opportunity Foundation of America of Salt Lake City to build miniature EagleEyes boxes and distribute them for free. EagleEyes sites have been set up at several facilities in the U.S. and U.K.

http://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/schools/csom_sites/eagleeyes/pdf/C-%5Cfakepath%5CEEChangingLives.pdf

 

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

"When Jesus Christ asked little children to come to him, he didn't say only rich children, or White children, or children with two-parent families, or children who didn't have a mental or physical handicap. He said, "Let all children come unto me."   ~ Marian Wright Edelman

How would you like to be remembered?

It is late and I found this wonderful story that makes you think? Enjoy!

How would you like to be remembered?

About a hundred years ago, a man looked at the morning newspaper and to his surprise and horror, read his name in the obituary column. The news papers had reported the death of the wrong person by mistake. His first response was shock. Am I here or there? When he regained his composure, his second thought was to find out what people had said about him. The obituary read, "Dynamite King Dies." And also "He was the merchant of death." This man was the inventor of dynamite and when he read the words "merchant of death," he asked himself a question, "Is this how I am going to be remembered?" He got in touch with his feelings and decided that this was not the way he wanted to be remembered. From that day on, he started working toward peace. His name was Alfred Nobel and he is remembered today by the great Nobel Prize.

Just as Alfred Nobel got in touch with his feelings and redefined his values, we should step back and do the same.

What is your legacy?

How would you like to be remembered?

Will you be spoken well of?

Will you be remembered with love and respect?

Will you be missed?

"Our days are numbered. One of the primary goals in our lives should be to prepare for our last day. The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives. What preparations should we be making now? The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day."    ~ Billy Graham

 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Date Night at the Movies

   Last night for our Date, Jeff and I went to see the movie called... THE HELP.
Stars Emma Stone as Skeeter, Viola Davis as Aibileen and Octavia Spencer as Minny-three very different, extraordinary women in Mississippi during the 1960s, who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them all at risk. From their improbable alliance a remarkable sisterhood emerges, instilling all of them with the courage to transcend the lines that define them, and the realization that sometimes those lines are made to be crossed-even if it means bringing everyone in town face-to-face with the changing times. -- (C) DreamWorks
   It was an amazing movie and one that will really touch your heart. Now that is saying a lot for me. Those of you who know me, know that there aren't that many movies out there that I want to watch. I don't like immorality, violence, bad language, torture or someone being chased or threatened...I know you are probably laughing by now. It's true, my poor little spirit is offended by those things, and so there aren't many movies that we go to and that I would come out praising them. This one however made you think,feel and ask yourself would I ever treat any other human being like that? There was in the beginning more bad language than I wanted, that whole part could have been just as good without it. Actually it was in the first few minutes of the movie and I was wondering if Jeff and I were going to have to get up and leave. So yes, there was some  bad language, so please don't think I am promoting that, I am not. 
   I guess what touched me so deeply about this movie, is how people can change and their opinions can change, given the opportunity to see it from another's point of view. Of course I loved the strong women, who with courage and determination helped make big changes in the world, at quite a terrible cost personally...but they did it!
The racial conflict was real, I know because I lived in the midst of it.
   When I was a little girl, we lived in a mostly Black neighborhood. ( Now Black was not an offensive word at the time ) I got in fights many times after school for being White. I can't remember all of the situations, but I do remember spending a whole lot of time at my BEST FRIEND Kathy's house,  and that that was a safe place for me. She was like the sister I never had. She and I did everything together, much I have forgotten now, but I never forgot her kindness and the kindness of her family. What I didn't really think of was that our skin was different colors. She didn't seem to care that I had white skin and to be honest with you, I didn't think of her as a Black person, she was just my friend. When I thought of the Black kids that I was fighting with, I really just thought that they were cruel and mean...instead of their color. Many of our neighbors and friends were Black, but once you really become friends, color isn't an issue, and for that I was grateful.

   I guess I could relate on a SMALL scale what is was like to be different, and yet that was only for a few short years in my life, not for my whole!  Anyway, I left the movie thinking...how grateful I am for reminders like this movie, to never let us ever go back to that way of life or thinking! It made me determined to continue to stand up for what is right and true...no matter what the cost.
Good night dear friends!

"Judging someone... having never walked in their shoes, is like trying to shoot at a target blindfolded...it is important to see the whole picture"  ~ Lynn

"It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences."  ~ Audre Lorde

" 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

Saturday, August 20, 2011

True Happiness

Last night we had a SLEEP OVER with the girls, so that Mommy and Daddy could go to a concert and have some time by themselves.Their 7th wedding anniversary is this year. The girls were so excited to come over. We took their Lady Bug Picnic Quilt out to the park and had a picnic dinner. Then we spent some time on the play toys, then home for baths and stories. As I was putting Angie to bed, right before I closed the door she said..."Nana, I love coming over to  your house for Sleep Overs" and you are the best Nana ever" I could hardly answer because I was choked up. How truly happy I am, to be where I am today, with my family and friends.

Each day when I wake up, I look around and think...I am so grateful for my health and that I get to have another day here on earth. I am so thankful for this home that we have to live in and share with family and friends. I can't believe how lucky I am to have so many Best Friends. And last but not least, I am so glad that I know my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Knowing that I don't have to go through anything alone is a huge blessing.

This morning Jenny woke up, (after sleeping all night) and she said with a big smile on her face " Happy... Day...Party...Puppy...Two"  She knew today we were going to do her Puppy Birthday Party today and she was excited about that. Yes, we have a lot of TRUE HAPPINESS in our lives... how thankful I am for that!
Good night dear friends!

"True happiness is to rest satisfied with what we have, which is abundantly sufficient."  ~ Seneca

"Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into." ~ Wayne Dyer

“Abundance is about being rich, with or without money.”   ~ Suze Orman

"Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life."  ~ Wayne Dyer

Friday, August 19, 2011

How to look and feel old!

A month or so I bought a new dress. It was one of those that is suppose to have the wrinkled look. I didn't actually like it when I tried it on again at home, so I decided to pack it back in the bag and return it. I  laughed as I read the tag that was on it. It said..HOW TO KEEP YOUR GARMENT LOOKING WRINKLED! Isn't that funny,  you don't hear that every day now do ya?


http://www.123rf.com/photo


I think what was really funny, was the fact that there was a whole set of instructions to wrinkle your garment. Man, I think we should have that same type of tag on us and it would say...HOW TO GET MORE WRINKLES, LOOK OLDER AND KEEP THAT LOOK FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!

It really wouldn't be hard to come up with those instructions, let's see ...HOW TO GET MORE WRINKLES? Never put on sun screen, never wash your face or wear moisturizer.  Then ...How TO LOOK OLDER? Worry about everything, as if it all depends on you. And last... HOW TO KEEP THIS LOOK YOUR WHOLE LIFE? Don't exercise, eat whatever you want, get only a little bit of sleep and be negative and contentious about everything. Remember to be as selfish as you can. Always be doubtful and for absolutely sure...never have HOPE!

Yes, I think if we followed those instructions on our tag... we would really be able to keep that wrinkled, old and worn out look ...all the time! That was easy to think of. Maybe I should have been a designer? :)

Speaking of needing to get some sleep, I had better close now before the wrinkled look starts to set in!

Good night dear friend!

"Accent your positive and delete your negative.'  ~ Donna Karan   

"Bondage is - subjection to external influences and internal negative thoughts and attitudes." ~ W. Clement Stone

"Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one." ~ Hans Selye

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Side effects of cancer!

   A few weeks ago, I had mentioned that I had a few tests that I was concerned about. Now having survived Cancer twice, I am the first one to admit that just having Cancer...can give you side effects. I mean side effects other than the normal ones from the disease or the treatments. I am talking about the ones that happen in your mind and heart. If you were to ask me how often I think about Cancer now, compared to the first couple of years, I would say not often at all. Except when I get sick or find a lump or something that feels like a lump. Or if I get symptoms that I am not sure about or things like that. And I am sorry to admit but those side effects that come with them are the sick feeling that you get...the one that tells you that you can't do cancer again. The one that makes you sick to your stomach with worry, the one that makes all your thoughts focus on what MIGHT be wrong. The WHAT IFS are a terrible part of the side effects. A few nights before my tests, I cried during the night, I begged and pleaded with my Heavenly Father to either make everything come out normal on my tests, or if need be...make me equal to whatever trial I was going to face.

   Yes, Cancer does have side effects of the heart and mind like that. I don't have them very often but when I do, it is quite paralyzing and it totally drains my energy. So yesterday, I got the call back on one of my tests (that I had really been worried about ) and it came back perfectly normal (those were the nurse's words not mine ). I felt like jumping for joy, I immediately went back to my Heavenly Father and thanked Him for this chance to continue to live life to it's fullest. I have two more tests coming up in the next month or so I am trying to find my Happy Place, so I won't worry too much about them. I am telling you, these side effects are real and so hard to battle. I realize they are normal, but I sure don't like them or the way they make me feel. I know a lot of people would say to me "Just don't worry, I am sure it isn't anything". Actually that isn't really comforting, because that is exactly what people said when I went back in 3 years ago for a return mammogram... and it did end up being Cancer again. The truth is no one knows, so probably what I would rather hear is something like..." Oh Lynn, let's hope it isn't Cancer again, I will keep you in my prayers". That is about all we all can really do for each other any way. We can't stop bad things from happening to our family and friends, but we can have faith and pray hard for them...that is one thing we KNOW that works!

   So for all of you that suffered through my sad posts, and for those of you who kept me in your prayers...thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
    I wish I could say, I am better and won't have those type of side effects anymore, but I can't. I do realize that every year, they get a little less intense, so that is hopeful. Yes life is hard but... I am still grateful to wake up each day and spend it with my family, friends and YOU!!!!

"Any change, any loss, does not make us victims. Others can shake you, surprise you, disappoint you, but they can't prevent you from acting, from taking the situation you're presented with and moving on. No matter where you are in life, no matter what your situation, you can always do something. You always have a choice and the choice can be power."  ~ Blain Lee

"God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it."  ~ Unknown

"The greatest battles of life are fought daily in the silent chambers of the soul."  ~ David O. McKay

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Compassion...we all need it!

Read this sweet short story. I am telling you, if you ever need a good example to follow...watch a child!

THE MOST CARING CHILD

Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child. The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.
Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed into his lap, and just sat there. When his mother asked him what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing I just helped him cry."

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"The true riches of life come naturally as we enrich the lives of others." ~ Byrd Baggett

"We are not here to merely make a living, but to enrich the world with a finer spirit of hope and achievement―and we impoverish ourselves if we forget the errand."

"Compassion is the key which opens the gates of happiness, and connects one soul to another." ~  M. H. McKee

Monday, August 15, 2011

Our little Jenny Paige!

Today our little Jenny Paige turned two. She only had 3 melt downs, I guess that is doing pretty good for a Two Year Old?  Jenny has been our little stone face, or she can win any game at staring at someone. She is all full of giggles and smiles if...she knows and likes you. She is a typical Two Year Old, wants to do things by herself, and is talking and running all over the place. Every day we are getting more words from her. She almost has all the words to SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN memorized...guess who sings those every day? She and Angie play and fight together, they are typical sisters or I should say siblings. But Jenny always worries about Angie, so deep down I bet they will grow up to be close.

I have to admit, when I knew that we were going to have another grand child, I wondered how in the world I could possibly love another child like my Angie girl?  But... as soon as they placed this little red head ( yes, she came out with this color ) in my arms... MAGICICALLY my heart grew! That actually happened with each of my children too, funny how that is.

So we are grateful to have our sweet, funny, snuggly, stubborn, happy, smart and cute little Jenny in our lives! My heart melts when she comes in my door yelling for NANA! Yes, I am blessed to have these two sweet little red heads in my life and another sweet little baby coming soon...yes, life is good!

Good night dear friends!

 

" A grandchild fill a space in your heart that you never knew was empty."  ~ Unknown

"Children are born, traditions are passed and the LOVE continues on"  ~ Sharon Bibby

"There is more, much more, to being a redhead than the color of one’s hair." ~ G. Adam Stanislav,( red-haired ) 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Always together!

An article the other day on the news was this...Together 74 years, Kirkland couple die less than a day apart. It was an amazing story. Their kids told about how close their parents were, the only thing they didn't like to do together was watch sports. She was a die hard fan, and she thought he was way to critical. I thought of their kids, what a legacy they left them!  In a world where some people think of marriage, as something disposable. I think that couple gave their kids one of the greatest gifts they could give. The love and happiness of their parents, a sure foundation for them to grow, and a perfect example of how every day in your marriage you have to work at it together. Marriage is hard ...but oh so worth it!
I have to admit, I have always hoped that Jeff and I would go near the same time. I can't imagine my heart ever being the same without him. He is my best friend, and the love of my life. Yes, that was an amazing story and even more amazing that they got to have 74 years together, I could only hope for that much time with Jeff.
Good night dear friends!

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“Sometimes we can take offense so easily. On other occasions we are too stubborn to accept a sincere apology. Who will subordinate ego, pride, and hurt—then step forward with ‘I am truly sorry! Let’s be as we once were: friends. Let’s not pass to future generations the grievances, the anger of our time’? Let’s remove any hidden wedges that can do nothing but destroy.”  ~ Thomas S. Monson

"It is far more difficult to be of one heart and mind than to be physically one. This unity of heart and mind is manifest in sincere expressions of 'I appreciate you' and 'I am proud of you.' Such domestic harmony results from forgiving and forgetting, essential elements of a maturing marriage relationship. Someone has said that we 'should keep [our] eyes wide open before marriage, and half shut afterward.' True charity ought to begin in marriage, for it is a relationship that must be rebuilt every day." ~ James E. Faust

“Let us not live a life … that would bring regret. … It is not going to matter very much how much money you made, what kind of a house you lived in, what kind of a car you drove, the size of your bank account—any of those things. What is going to matter is that dear woman who has walked with you side by side as your companion through all of the years of life and those children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren and their faithfulness and their looking to you … with respect and love and deference and kindness.” ~ Gordon B. Hinckley

Saturday, August 13, 2011

filling big shoes!

I think all of us at some point in our lives feel like we will never be able to fill the big shoes, of other's who have gone before us. This photo of my granddaughters standing in their Daddy and Mommy's shoes reminded me of that.I remember as a young girl looking a new Mom's and wondering how they could handle and juggle all that Motherhood gave you, plus life? Then as a young Mom myself, I remember wondering how I could ever love another child or handle the extra responsibility that it would take to have two kids?

Then as I have gotten older I realize that life happens to all of us, and that is exactly how we fill the big shoes. We keep going, keep breathing, keep trying, keep asking for help and ...day by day, month by month and year by year, we grow and develop into who we are suppose to be.

Tonight one of friend's stop by to say hi, because she and her family were in town. She is the same age as my kids and became like one of the family, years ago when she was in High School. As I watched her and listened to her, I realize how much she has grown in those 10 or so years. She is truly and amazing young lady, wife, Mother, daughter and friend.

How grateful I am to have her in our life! I really am grateful for all the people in our life who have become like members of our family. They truly make life special. It makes me realize how much we all can help each other grow, if we will but take the time and effort that goes with it. Yes, time and experience is all we need to become WHO WE REALLY NEED TO BE!  Growth, change is necessary and sometimes a bit painful, but...soooo worth it!

Good night dear friends!

"Life is simple, it's just not easy."  ~Author Unknown

"Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished.  If you're alive, it isn't."  ~Richard Bach

"To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else."  ~Emily Dickinson

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Getting used to the dark!

When I was a young girl, I worked in a pre-school for Handicapped Children. We would have to do home visits often, to see if there were things that could be changed in their homes, to help the children's progress. It was heartbreaking to go into those apartments or trailers, the situation these kids lived in...were often of abuse and neglect. Sometimes we had to get CPS involved, and they tried to get the kids out of these homes and away from their abusers.Each time the child didn't want to leave. I wondered why they wouldn't want to get out of these situations and once CPS worker said "it is familiar to them, this is all they have ever known, leaving the situation seems worse because it is the unknown". Heartbreaking is the only way to explain it.

When I read this survivor's story from the Chainbreakers Foundation, I wanted to share it. I remember well, getting used to the dark (as a child of incest). It isn't until you get out of that situation, into the light ...that you realize how bad your situation and perception was. This story is to ...once again help all of us to surround ourselves by light, and also to bring that light to anyone around us who is still suffering in the dark! (If you need information on how to help a friend or loved one, please go to this web site below...)

A Dark Room

http://www.chainbreakerfoundation.com/

The light switch goes off. It’s dark. I can hardly make out shapes and objects. All I have to do is wait. Sit frozen and wait until I can start to see again. Just a small wait in the dark and things start to become a little more clear, a little more comfortable. There is my nightstand; there are the piles of clothes on the floor. Why did I leave my closet door open again?

After a while I can see so “well,” I hardly notice that it is dark. My eyes have adjusted. I can freely and contently move about the room; things appear normal. I can see so clearly again. There is almost no notice to the darkness that has taken over the room.

My mind jumps to all those comments. Comments that enrage me; “Tamara, your room is a mess. Come out into the light.”

The light? What are they talking about? I can see just fine. My eyes are adjusted to the dark. Things are clear to me. Things make sense in the dark. I have learned how to get from one place to the next without tripping. Dark is normal for me.

It happens. Someday cracks the door open. That small amount of light allows me to see the things that I couldn’t see in the dark. There are my headphones I have been looking for, what is a bag of crackers doing on the floor?

I then become lucky. Winning a million dollar lottery lucky.

That same door that kept people out for so long, comes down. The hinges ripped out from the wall socket. The door is destroyed. Not only is the light pouring in, the blinds are then opened and I am introduced to sunshine. Sunshine?? Sunshine??? I have been longing for sunshine.

It is at this moment I see the room I have been sitting in for 10 years. This room is chaos. Things are turned upside down, broken, nothing has a place. How can I let my children live like this? Broken glass is all around me. How could I possibly be sitting in this place for so long and not have noticed? I feel stupid, embarrassed.

. . .

I crave light. I crave sunshine. It’s been so long. I finally have realized how to answer the question, “If things were that bad, why did you stick around for so long?” The truth; I had no idea I had been sitting in a dark room for 10 years. I got lucky. I got lucky that somebody pushed down that door and allowed me see the light. I love you Deneka Strom!!   You forever will be my angel!   ~ Tamara Chamberlain

 

"We cannot liberate victims; we can only educate them.
  They must liberate themselves."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Shine your light!

 

I loved this video, so true.
Tooth is throbbing, the root canal re-do went well. Hoping now the infection goes away and the tooth settles down. Sorry this isn't much of a post tonight but...watch the video...it is motivating!

Good night dear friends!

http://vimeo.com/23736742

angie looking up

"Who is more foolish, the child afraid of the dark or the man afraid of the light?"  ~Maurice Freehill

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Only a $10.00 depression!

When I was pregnant with Amy, the Dr told me that he thought she was so big, that maybe we got the dates wrong. He said you might be seeing this baby in April and so being a first time Mom to be, I believed him. Well, it is hard to just wait for a baby to come, you try to keep busy and not think of it, but those last weeks are unbelievable to say the least.

amys belly

April came and left, and May came and each week when I went for my check up the Doctor would tell me things like, well she isn't dropping, she isn't showing any signs of getting ready and so on and so forth. I was  devastated. What about this April baby I was suppose to have? After each Doctor appointment I would be so discourage that I would stop by the fabric or craft store to buy some supplies, to make something else for the baby's room which just was a project to keep my mind and hands busy. When I would call Jeff and tell him the bad news about having to wait longer, he would always say "How much did  your depression cost us today?" "Was it a $5.00 depression or a $10.00 depression?" * Just a side note here, I am not making light of real depression, I have been there and it isn't funny at all, this is just the word we used in this situation *


I sorta felt like calling Jeff today and saying well I had a $17.00 depression after going to the Doctor. Actually I really liked my new Doctor and she had great insight and wisdom. She seemed to think the thing that I was worried about... isn't going to be a problem, but took tests and we will have the results back in a few days. Whew, at least I cleared that hurdle today, now I have to clear and handle the root canal re-do tomorrow. This Doctor also told me that I need to get my colonoscopy and have my thyroid checked by a specialist, just to be safe and so I guess I have a few more hurdles to clear in the future. Well, I am just grateful to  have another day to even have hurdles to clear. Life seems to be all about the journey and things that happen to us. Some of our greatest lessons, are also some of the hardest.

"Thank you for your faith and prayers, I need to head to bed and get some sleep. Good night dear friends!"

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

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
- Franklin D. Roosevelt

Monday, August 8, 2011

Hard earned Wisdom!

As I am getting older, I am beginning to feel like I am wising up,,, just a little. Things that normally would have tripped me up, seem just like another hurdle I have to clear. I actually used to run track and I did the hurdles, they are not easy to clear. If by a fraction of an inch, you don't bring your foot up with your leg, your toe can hit the hurdle and knock it down... and usually you go with it.
Life has given me a few hurdles, some I have cleared, and some I haven't. This week has a few hurdles that I must jump, I pray that I will rise up enough to clear them. Seems so simple, but it's not. So I will remember this Serenity Prayer and remember who to call on for help and courage! Night dear friends!

The Serenity Prayer
By Reinhold Neibuhr

God grant that I might have
The courage to change the things I can,
The serenity to accept the things I cannot,
And the wisdom to know the difference

" Sometimes, struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If we were to go through our life without any obstacles, we would be crippled. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. Give every opportunity a chance, leave no room for regrets."  ~ Frederick Douglass

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning.”

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Mother's Heart

   Tonight at a meeting, I was able to talk for a moment to a friend of mine whose son got very sick a couple of years ago and they never could figure out why. Her son now is doing great and healthy again. I was just curious how they found their answers and how she as a Mom, handle all of it. It was nice to talk to another Mother, heart to heart. She knew exactly what I was talking about when I mentioned Lee and how we still don't know what is going on and the frustrations that come with that. Now Lee hasn't had an attack in almost 7 weeks, but the concern is definitely still there because we don't have any real answers.
   I shared with her the number of times I have pleaded with the Lord to let me have the problems, not my son. She knew the exact feeling and concern I was talking about. I asked finally how they got his problem diagnosed and to my surprise she said " we didn't, it just went away". Then she added "looking at the young man my son has become today, I realized all those things made him who he is". She knew that the Lord taught him things during that time that he might not have learned in any other way.
   So she really didn't have any real answer for me, she just gave me a hug and said " I will keep you guys in my prayers". I thought what a wonderful gift it was tonight to connect heart to heart with another Mom and to be reminded that our Heavenly Father is in charge, and we just need to have faith and know that everything will just work out. I needed that wisdom and insight tonight, and I needed that hug too!

Good night dear friends!

"I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me.  They have clung to me all my life."  ~Abraham Lincoln

"If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been."  ~Robert Brault

"Grown don't mean nothing to a mother.  A child is a child.  They get bigger, older, but grown?  What's that suppose to mean?  In my heart it don't mean a thing."  ~Toni Morrison

Saturday, August 6, 2011

"The apple doesn't fall far from the tree"

In my case, I guess I could change this well known saying to go like this.."The apples didn't fall far from the tree". When my kids were little, I ran a business out of our home, actually I did a lot of different businesses from our home. But of course the one that I did the most of was a craft business ( shocking I know ).  Anyway, ever since the kids were little... they saw their Mom either drawing, sanding, painting, sewing or using a glue gun. It was something I could do from home and still be a full time Mom. There were many nights right before a particular craft show, that I would ask Amy and Brad to help me finish some projects. They did a great job and I thought we had the perfect set up ...until they would complain about how tired they were or wanted to do something else instead. Then when Lee and Lauren came along, the whole business thing got a whole lot harder with 2 little ones running around. Life was busy and full and sometimes hard. I had to stop the business before too long so that the kids wouldn't turn me in to Child Labor Laws...just joking!  Anyway, back to the Apples...I smiled as my daughter Amy and my son Brad, emailed me and shared their new business web sites and blogs. Here they are artistic, talented and creative. The only difference from me and them is the Internet. They are so much more computer savvy than I ever was, and that has opened up a whole world (literally) of opportunities to them.

So here are their sites when you can, stop in and take a look...

Amy's is...       www.blueeyedcarrots.etsy.com 

and Brad's is... http://bradwoodarddesign.com 

Also you can see Lauren's photography blog...
www.adayinwashington.blogspot.com 

And of course you know mine...  www.mandieandmedesigns.com

It is fun to see these apples still growing and developing! Who would have thought they would have come this far from all that work they did as kids? :)

"Anyone can count the number of seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed." ~Robert H. Schuller

"Once children learn how to learn, nothing is going to narrow their mind. The essence of teaching is to make learning contagious, to have one idea spark another." ~ Marva Collins

"Don't limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, you can achieve." ~- Mary Kay Ash

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Loss!

Our daughter Lauren has been home from college about 2 weeks now. She wasn't suppose to start back up at her old job ( at a book store in Bellevue ) until the fall. But on Monday she got a call, saying that they needed her right away. Then they explained that one of her co-workers had passed away over the weekend. We still don't know how she died, but she was a wife and a Mother and she was only in her late 30's or early 40's. What a tragedy!

Then a dear friend of mine called this week and told me that her Grandmother had passed away. Her circumstances were a lot different. She had lived a good long life and even though her death was a surprise, she was more than ready to go and be reunited with her sweet husband who had been gone for quite some time.

Death and trials, disease and struggles are tough on anyone. I am always interested in how people make it through times like these? I read this sweet quote today and then I was reminded again, how people not only make it through times like these, but become stronger and more faithful because of it.

"CHRIST WALKED THE PATH EVERY MORTAL IS CALLED TO WALK SO THAT HE WOULD KNOW HOW TO SUCCOR AND STRENGTHEN US IN OUR MOST DIFFICULT TIMES. HE KNOWS THE DEEPEST AND MOST PERSONAL BURDENS WE CARRY. HE KNOWS THE MOST PUBLIC AND POIGNANT PAINS WE BEAR. HE DESCENDED BELOW ALL SUCH GRIEF IN ORDER THAT HE MIGHT LIFT US ABOVE IT. THERE IS NO ANGUISH OR SORROW OR SADNESS IN LIFE THAT HE HAS NOT SUFFERED IN OUR BEHALF AND BORNE AWAY UPON HIS OWN VALIANT AND COMPASSIONATE SHOULDERS."  ~ Jeffrey R. Holland

So for now, I will keep both of these families in my thoughts and prayers ...and hope that they can find peace and healing from our Savior. It makes me realize, not to take my relationships and time with my loved ones for granted. I need to say 'I LOVE YOU' more often! So good night dear friends, thank you for being such an important part in my life. And please remember you are LOVED!

"To live in hearts we leave behind
Is not to die."  ~Thomas Campbell

"Life is eternal, and love is immortal,
and death is only a horizon;
and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight." ~Rossiter Worthington Raymond

"For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity."  ~William Penn

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What is prayer to you?

   I went to the specialist today to find out about my abscessed tooth. I prayed before I went in, that I would know if he was the right one to help me. I also prayed that he would be able to diagnosis me correctly.  Then I prayed that I would have the courage to get another root canal, and last but not least, I prayed that my infection would not return.
   Now I know that was a lot of praying you might say, but to be honest ...that was only one subject that I was praying about today. there were a whole lot more. I have always like the scripture in the book of Psalms 55:17-18 ...where we are told to pray in the evening, morning and noon. I like how it reminds how to pray for peace and help in our daily battles. Now that is exactly what I need every day!

   I love how the Bible Dictionary explains what prayer is..." PRAYER IS  THE ACT BY WHICH THE WILL OF THE FATHER AND THE WILL OF THE CHILD ARE BROUGHT INTO CORRESPONDENCE WITH EACH OTHER. THE OBJECT TO PRAYER IS NOT TO CHANGE THE WILL OF GOD, BUT TO SECURE FOR OURSELVES AND FOR OTHERS BLESSINGS THAT GOD IS ALREADY WILLING TO GRANT, BUT THAT ARE MADE CONDITIONAL ON OUR ASKING FOR THEM."

   That is what prayer is to me, and how grateful I am for it!

 

"Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?"   ~Corrie Ten Boom

"...the strait and narrow path, though clearly marked, is a path, not a freeway nor an escalator. Indeed, there are times when the only way the strait and narrow path can be followed is on one's knees!"
--Neal A. Maxwell, "A Brother Offended," Ensign, May 1982

"No earthly authority can separate us from direct access to our Creator. There can never be a mechanical or electronic failure when we pray. There is no limit on the number of times or how long we can pray each day. There is no quota of how many needs we wish to pray for in each prayer. We do not need to go through secretaries or make an appointment to reach the throne of grace. He is reachable at any time and any place."
--James E. Faust, "The Lifeline of Prayer," Ensign, May 2002

"Never assume that you can make it alone. You need the help of the Lord. Never hesitate to get on your knees in some private place and speak with Him. What a marvelous and wonderful thing is prayer. Think of it. We can actually speak with our Father in Heaven. He will hear and respond, but we need to listen to that response. Nothing is too serious and nothing too unimportant to share with Him."
--Gordon B. Hinckley "Stay on the High Road," Ensign, May 2004

In our Hearts

Last night for Family Home Evening, we helped clean out someone's home. Our friend lost her Mother and we were helping her go through all her stuff, and try to set things up so she could have an Estate Sale. She said that her Mother had lived in that home for 30 years, and  you could tell that by all the things that she had accumulated. I thought as we went through things, how sad it is in a way, that these things that meant so much to her but don't have the same value to those around her. Of course some things did and were very precious to her family, but we weren't really dealing with that we were dealing with all the stuff in her cupboards and garage.

It made me realize that I need to go through my stuff and see what I really need and then try to find a home for the rest, that I probably don't need. My friend's heart is breaking, it seems sometimes the circumstances are such that you just have to keep going, planning things like the funeral, reading the will, dividing things up, worrying about selling the family home and on and on. It doesn't seem fair that some of that can't wait until you are properly done mourning for your loved one. But that is not the way it is, some things have to be done right now. I saw how her heart was breaking and how tired she was. We were glad to help in some small way. I found this poem and it made me glad that death doesn't take away our love and memories of them. I am glad that they always stay in our hearts. Good night dear friends!

In Our Hearts
Author Unknown

We thought of you with love today,
But that is nothing new.

We thought about you yesterday,
And the days before that, too.

We think of you in silence.
We often speak your name.

Now all we have is memories,
And your picture in a frame.

Your memory is our keepsake,
With which we'll never part.

God has you in His Keeping.
We have you in our Heart.

 

"It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth -- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up -- that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had."

- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal."  ~From a headstone in Ireland

Monday, August 1, 2011

Struggling!

I am sorry that I didn't write last night. I had a wonderful Sabbath Day and so I really had a lot of things to share. But I really have been struggling for a couple of days and so I didn't know if I had anything uplifting to say. I have a few appointments that are coming up that are worrying me some. We still don't know what is going on with Lee's health and that ways a bit heavy on my heart. My tooth is still bothering me and Jeff just left for a week long business trip. So it could be one of any of these things that I am struggling with I guess?

There is a heaviness in my heart that I can't seem to get to go away. Sometimes I get feelings like this, right before something bad happens. I have prayed and prayed to know what the feeling is about and of course I try to remind the Lord that I have had so many trials already, and that I don't think I can handle any more right now.

As I even type this, I realize what a silly thing it is to counsel the Lord. I don't know better than He does, I just feel like I have been doing so much better, my health has been getting better and I have been out and about more than I have in a long time. I just feel like I am starting to really live again, and I can't handle any big trauma right now. Then I read this quote today and realized I need to have more faith and trust. I will share this quote with you, in hopes that like me...we will all realize who is in charge and that if we will rely on our God, He will make us equal, to any difficulty that comes  our way. I do know this to be true, I just forget sometimes!

"ON THIS UPWARD AND SOMETIMES HAZARDOUS JOURNEY, EACH OF US MEETS OUR SHARE OF DAILY CHALLENGES. IF WE ARE NOT CAREFUL, AS WE PEER THROUGH THE NARROW LENS OF SELF-INTEREST, WE MAY FEEL THAT LIFE IS BRINGINS US MORE THAN OUR FAIR SHARE OF TRIALS- THAT SOME HOW OTHERS SEEM TO BE GETTING OFF MORE LIGHTLY.

BUT THE TESTS OF LIFE ARE TAILORED FOR OUR OWN BEST INTEREST, AND ALL WILL FACE THE BURDENS BEST SUITED TO THEIR OWN MORTAL EXPERIENCE. IN THE END WE WILL REALIZE THAT GOD IS MERCIFUL AS WELL AS JUST AND THAT ALL THE RULES ARE FAIR. WE CAN BE REASSURED THAT OUR CHALLENGES WILL BE THE ONE WE NEEDED, AND CONQUERING THEM WILL BRING BLESSINGS WE COULD HAVE RECEIVED IN NO OTHER WAY."

"FAITH MAKES THINGS POSSIBLE...NOT EASY!"