Thursday, September 29, 2011

Joy in the Journey!

About 15 years ago, I started giving a motivational speech that was called “ Joy in the Journey”. It was all about… how important it is to enjoy the journey and truly appreciate the ride life gives us. I spoke to many different Women’s groups but the reaction was always the same. The women were tired, disappointed sometimes in themselves or how their lives turned out. They had been working so hard to get to ‘Happily Ever After’, that they missed a lot of the journey and the happiness that came along the way. They were still traveling, sometimes against their wills, or so exhausted that they didn’t know which end was up… still they thought it was vital to keep moving and make sure they got to the end.

Now in recent years, I have talked more about adversity and how we keep our attitudes in check and how we keep the faith, but still somewhere in my speeches comes the same underlining message…Enjoy the Journey!

I think the best part of doing motivational speaking is …you are constantly reminding  yourself of all the things you need to be doing or keep doing. Yes, the last little bit…I think I have fallen short of ENJOYING TH E JOURNEY, I was just trying to hang in there!  So take it from me, life is much more enjoyable when we are aware, grateful and enjoying the journey. Thanks for all the love and support all of you have given me throughout the years of my incredible journey. Good night dear friends!



“Foolish people with all their other thoughts, have this one too: They are always getting ready to live, but never living.

Your success will start when you begin to pursue it. To reach your goal or to attain success, you don’t need to know all of the answers in advance. You just need to have a clear idea of what your goal is.

Don’t procrastinate when faced with difficult problems. Break your problems into parts, and handle one part at a time.

Develop tendencies toward taking action. You can make something happen right now. Divide your big plan into small steps and take that first step right away.

Everyone who ever got where they are had to begin where they were. Your big opportunity is where you are right now.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Take it.”


The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” ~ Don Williams Jr.

  “Success is not a place at which one arrives but rather the spirit with which one undertakes and continues the journey.”  ~ Alex Noble

It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end”  ~ Ursula K. LeGuin



Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall is in the air!

Jenny is excited because our neighbor’s apple tree is dropping apples off in our back yard. Angie knows that the mornings and evenings are getting cooler… and for a week now they have asked me when we are going to put up Fall and Halloween decorations. I told them not till this weekend, but today was just too beautiful and sunny and so I caved in, and today Angie and I repotted our Fall Mums and some Fall/Winter Kale plants. We got everything cleaned and dusted and started putting up all the Halloween decorations. I have friends who ask me why I keep going to all that work to put up decorations for every season, but if only they could see my granddaughter’s eyes light up as they pull the decorations out of the box and then help me find the perfect spot for it, then they would probably do the same themselves.

Yes, with each Halloween night light, spider or pumpkin, they would give a loud cheer and say “ Happy Halloween”! Oh, it was too cute and it really was only a couple of days early…that is good for us Holiday nuts!

I felt like tonight I was starting a cold, gee I hope that isn’t going to be true. I have been pretty healthy for quite awhile, so I am going to close early tonight and get to bed. I feel blessed to live in such a wonderful, beautiful part of the world. Days like today, certainly remind me of my blessings.

I hope you are starting to enjoy the first few days till Fall?

Night dear friends!


“Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”     ~George Eliot

“I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.”   ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

“Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.”     ~Elizabeth



For some reason the past few weeks I have been struggling with feelings of sadness. I am trying to figure out just what it is and yet even tonight, I still am not sure exactly why I am feeling so sad? I am trying to look at everything and see if anything particular could be contributing to these feelings. I think maybe a few of things that are weighing heavy on my heart might be part of the problem. One is …I have a dear friend who is living in a verbally and emotionally situation, and I know they can’t see a way out . I worry about them and about their kids, who have no choice. I wish there was some way that I could help them see clearly…what type of life they are really living in and a way out of it. So that is maybe some of the sadness.

Also we are remodeling some areas of our home, not a lot or something really big, but enough to have my house in disarray and I am struggling with that a bit. I know that in the long run it is going to be beautiful and we will be so grateful to have a new kitchen floor, carpeting on the steps, beautiful trim work in the hall and new paint too…it’s just that I have a hard time living in a such a mess…which happens when you are remodeling. So I know I need to work on being more patient with this situation.

Plus, for some reason I have been in more pain lately than normal. As I look back at my calendar, it is probably because I am over scheduling myself and I haven’t done that for a long time. It does feel good to have a full day but I am paying the price for it now. So to be in pain all day is something I haven’t had to deal with nearly as much,I know to some degree I am back sliding and that is never a good thing.

So I need to stop and count my blessings tonight…

I have a wonderful home and the means to do some improvements for it…that is a real blessing.

I have my health, it has been good for quite some time now…very much a blessing!

I have a wonderful family and extended family, which I love so much.

I have two sweet granddaughters and one grandson on his way in March!

So you see, I have much to be HAPPY about instead of SADNESS. I will try harder to remember that this week.

Oh yes, I have soooooooooo many wonderful friends that make my life richer…it is true, I really should be Happy!

Good night dear friends!

 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.

If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”   Frederick Douglass

Monday, September 26, 2011

Too funny!

   Life is just funny sometimes, it seems if you don’t laugh and try to have a sense of humor then … reality will just make you cry. So I would much rather laugh than cry personally.

Today was a rainy day and my youngest granddaughter Jenny had new rain boots on, but she kept complaining about them and wanting to take one of them off. When Amy finally

decided to take off the boot for her to see what in the world could be wrong with it, she found a plastic baby spoon! The whole time Jenny had been walking on that spoon, as soon

as they took the spoon off, she began to smile!

    Life is so funny and so unpredictable, you just have to smile! I hope on tough days that you will try to see the funny side of the situation

and sit down and just smile!  And if you are a Mother…smiling or laughing is the best weapon you have to survive ( trust me I know from personal experience that this is really true)! Smile



“If an article is attractive, or useful, or inexpensive, they'll stop making it tomorrow; if it's all three, they stopped making it yesterday.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
Tell a man there are 300 billion stars in the universe and he'll believe you.  Tell him a bench has wet paint on it and he'll have to touch it to be sure.”     ~Murphy's Law

“If there is something you must do and you cannot do it, you cannot do anything else.”  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

“How is it that our memory is good enough to retain the least triviality that happens to us, and yet not good enough to recollect how often we have told it to the same person?”  ~François Duc de La Rochefoucauld

“The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are three billion to one.”  ~Erma Bombeck

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Time spent…

Yesterday I talked about time… and how my cute granddaughter even tried to teach me how to “magically” make more time, but tonight I wanted to talk about time that we spend. One of the speakers in church today talked about Facebook and how many of us have facebook pages and how much time we spend reading about each other’s lives. He talked about how many friends we have on facebook, and how many of them are true friends, or just friend’s of a friend, and so we just add them on.

Then he surprised us and said… “What if Christ had a facebook page? Would you request His friendship? Would Christ befriend you? How much time would you spend reading or studying about His life? Would you want everyone to know that Christ was one of your friends?”
The speaker wasn’t trying to be disrespectful, but just trying to reach the audience and I personally think he did a great job of it. Then he went on to explain that every day we can read about Christ’s life in the scriptures.

Then he asked us to think about how much time do we spend reading and studying the scriptures? How much time do we spend praying and seeking personal revelation for our life? And could we maybe spend a little less time ( even a 10- 15 mins ) from our computers and facebook pages, and spend that time getting to know the Savior better? Are we true disciples of Christ? Do you realize that Discipleship is not a spectator sport? We must be actively involved in doing our very best every day.

It isn’t too late to start evaluating our time and how we spend it. It isn’t too late to start making small changes that would redirect our lives for the better. It is never too late to follow the Savior.

Yes, time  is the same for everyone, we all have only 24 hours in each day, but really sets us apart is …how we spend that time!

Good night dear friends!

“For most of us . . . what is required is not to die for the Church but to live for it. For many, living a Christlike life every day may be even more difficult than laying down one’s life. . . .

“Many think that the price of discipleship is too costly and too burdensome. For some, it involves giving up too much. But the cross is not as heavy as it appears to be. Through obedience we acquire much greater strength to carry it.”   ~James E. Faust

“Discipleship does not guarantee freedom from the storms of life. Even as we are wending our way carefully and faithfully along the strait and narrow path, we encounter obstacle and challenge. There are days, perhaps even months and years, when life is just hard. We experience our fair share of adversity, heartache, loneliness, pain, grief–sometimes; it seems more than our fair share.

“What to do when adversity strikes? There is only one thing to do. Stand steady and see it through. Stay steadfast, constant, and true. The real tragedy in the whirlwinds of life comes only when we allow them to blow us off our true course.”  ~David S. Baxter

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Jeff and I went out last night for our Date Night and remembered that 23 years ago we moved from West Virginia to Washington. We didn’t have a clue how we were going to make it here, we just knew we needed to leave West Virginia and that Washington was the place we wanted to live and raise our family. We have never looked back, it was one of the best decisions ever and still is! But how could that have been 23 years ago? Brad was two and Amy was five, yikes …time doe have a way of flying by.

Then I look at this photo of Angie ( our granddaughter ) and realized that time once again has flown by. How could my little granddaughter who was just in my arms not that long ago, be  old enough to start school already? It has been a blessing having them close enough to enjoy all these years with them. Just today Angie asked me to do something, I told her I didn’t know if we would have enough time to do that, and her reply was “ Don’t worry Nana, here…..( then she did some magical looking thing with her hands and then made a sound ) …now you have more time!”  I wondered why I didn’t think of that earlier? Smile

Speaking of time, it is almost the Sabbath and I need to get to bed. Good night dear friends!


Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day.
Rich people can't buy more time. Scientists can't invent new minutes. And you can't save time to spend on another day.
Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you've wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow.
Success depends upon using it wisely - - by planning and setting priorities. Time is worth more than money, and by killing time, we are killing our own chances of success.

--- Author Unknown ---

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Why Worry?

Today was a tough day physically, I have had a migraine for the entire day and most of last night… and so I won’t say that I am running on a full tank today.

I found this great motivational story and think that is what I will share with you tonight, it is a lot better than sharing my day or thoughts with you!

Worry Not Bug
By Catherine Pulsifer

For months I notice the painted rock that sat on Karen's coffee table. The rock was painted and its face had a smile that just made you smile when you looked at it. I examined the rock and painted on the bottom was "why worry". Curious I asked Karen where she got the rock.

She told me that during a very stressful time in her life, a friend that she worked with gave her the rock. Her friend told her that when she looked at this rock, she was to remember not to worry so much. Her friend called it her "worry not bug". There was a poem with the rock, she went and got it and as I read the poem I thought how true it was:

Why Worry by Author Unknown

- 40% will never happen, for anxiety is the result of a tired mind,
- 30% concerns old decisions which cannot be altered,
- 12% centers in criticism, mostly untrue, made by people who feel inferior,
- 10% is related to my health which worsens while I worry,
and only
- 8% is "legitimate," showing that life does have real problems which may be met head-on when I have eliminated senseless worries.

Karen went on to explain that she used to worry about everything and everyone. She now uses the rock as a reminder not to worry about the things she cannot change. She also went on to tell me that when she finds herself worrying, she asks herself what percentage this worry is?. Most of the time she found what she was worrying about was the 40% - things that will never happen.

"The problem of life is to change worry into thinking and anxiety into creative action."   ~Harold B. Walker

"Worry is interest paid on trouble before it is due."    ~William R. Inge
"Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry: Worry never fixes anything."  ~Hemingway

"Don't worry, be happy."    ~Bobby McFerrin

Just an every day hero!

More than once I have shared a story from Jason Wright’s columns. I love the way he writes, I love the way he sees life, so that is why I share it…in hopes that if you feel the same way, you will read more of his works. His books are great too.
Great story for today, hope you enjoy it!
Good night dear friends!

Meet my shoe shining hero

September 21, 2011

The man braves the New York City subway system five or six days a week from his humble home in Brooklyn to the madness of Times Square. He enters one of the popular hotels through an employees' entrance and shuffles his way through dense, slow-moving clouds of tourists speaking a dozen different languages.

The man sets up for another long day in his small spot in the lobby. Like an artist, he carefully arranges polish tins, rags, creams and brushes in his workspace. He is deliberate, practiced and expert in every move.

But he is not an artist. He's just a shoe shiner.

I met this man for the first time six years ago while visiting New York City on business. I remember how he shined my cheap strip-mall shoes like they were a $300 handmade pair of loafers from an Italian village. He bent and bowed and circled my feet, diving and dipping back and forth between each shoe with an eye single to the perfect shine.

I've sat in his chair many times since. Even on trips to Manhattan when I stay in other hotels, I always make time to visit my friend. His handshake is firm; his skin aged by years of humble labor. The wiry hair in his bushy eyebrows is gray, and I wonder all that the eyes below have witnessed.

This is the paragraph where I wish I could share his name, but when I asked about writing this column, he insisted I reveal neither his identity nor the name of the hotel. "I don't need any extra attention," he said. "I'm just being me."

My admiration for this everyday hero grows with each shoeshine.

During many trips to his chair, I've noticed that he chats as much or as little as his customers wish. I've also observed that most don't bother engaging him.

They have no idea what they're missing.

This simple shoe shiner is 80 years old. He's been shining shoes for 70 of them. How many people do you know who haven't just been working for seven decades, but in the same field? This good-humored man will tell you he's been at it so long, he once buffed up Lewis and Clark's moccasins.

He began shining shoes on street corners as a youngster. He helped support his family and saved what little was left. He attended school and beat his neighborhood odds by graduating from high school. He shattered the odds by earning a bachelor's degree and pulverized them by earning a master's. Much of his tuition was paid for with shoe shining.

He changed his clothes and worked in the corporate world for a short time, but he could not change what he loved most. Sometimes on weekends he would find a street corner and set up shop. Before long he was shining shoes once more, discussing current events and politics as he made the old and tired look new again.

He married, had three children and put each of them through college by shining shoes. If his life were a movie, this would be the scene where the audience rolls their eyes and whispers, "Yeah, right. Like that could ever happen."

Right, indeed.

On my most recent trip to New York, my friend told me that he'd once collapsed on the subway and been rushed to the hospital by strangers. He doesn't remember anything but waking up under bright florescent lights with his tearful sweetheart wagging her finger.

"How long ago was that?" I asked.

"Last week."

I laughed so hard I almost fell off the chair. Honestly, I'm not sure whether he's polishing shoes or souls.

Though I'm only in New York a few times a year, I often think of my friend and consider the joy he finds in his work. Do I love what I do the way he does? Do you?

I also wonder how many people dismiss him because he's a blue-collar man. Untold thousands have likely passed him by and assumed the elderly man is uneducated, unemployable and uninteresting.

To me, he's unbelievable.

This shoe shiner is one of those human beings everyone should have the opportunity to meet and learn from. Me? I'm thankful to have learned to do what I know, to love what I do and to smile as I do it. Without realizing it, he's made me want to be a better person and to try shining the shoes of those I meet.

I'm sure that if my friend reads this column, he'll be embarrassed that I've called him a hero. But why not?

He's a man who supports his family honorably.

He's a man who treats people with respect.

He's a man who does all that while working where his heart and the subway drive him everyday.

He's my shoe shiner hero. Who's yours?


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

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

True Beauty

I read this article the other day called Beauty Redefined, here are some of the points that the article mentions…

True beauty, would we recognize it if we saw it? The truth is what the media puts out as popular and real beauty isn’t what very many of us look like. One of the problems is the images of women in the media have usually been digitally manipulated so  why do we compare ourselves to that?

Where’s the ME in Media?…The average American spends 4.5  hours every day watching television and another 3.5 hours online, viewing  hundreds of advertisements in the process. With so much exposure to the positively portrayed  “normal” woman, it’s no wonder real people are feeling painful effects.  This kind of exposure of such a narrow image of women that it has shown to contribute to painfully low self-esteem, a preoccupation with appearance, and full-fledged eating disorders.

According to recent studies, half of all 9-12 year old girls wish they were thinner, and 35 percent of 6-12 year old girls have been on a least one diet.

More than half of adult women surveyed claim their bodies “disgust” them and 90 percent of women are dissatisfied with their appearance.

It is important to train ourselves to ask and answer pivotal questions, such as the following, about the media we’re exposed to on a regular basis”

1…Who is the advertising in this these pages or on this screen? ( Look for ads, commercials, and product placement that may affect the media content.)

2…Do I feel better or worse about myself after viewing this media?

3…Is the media I consume promoting real health or unattainable ideals that focus solely  on appearance?

4…How are women presented in our media choices? Are they valued for their talents and personality? Do they look like me or the women in my life?

5…Are my health and weight-loss goals based on concrete measures of fitness or wellness, or are they motivated by a desire to look a certain way or fit into a certain size?

By acknowledging that very few girls and women feel comfortable in their bodies, we can begin to realize it is the standard that needs changing –not us!  ~ Lexie Kite and Lindsay Kite 2011

I thought this article was excellent! We really do need to recognize and reject  the negative ideas that the media is putting out there about our bodies.

I for one, have to work on this daily and it is something that I struggle with. I don’t really think mine is because of the media as much as some, but still the struggle to not appreciate what I have is there and so I need to make sure that negativity stops. I need to remember… to just take the best care I can of my body.
  I hope it made you stop and think as it did me? Good night dear friends!
(P.S. the young woman in this post is a dear friend of ours. It’s her birthday today too! She is a great example of what we are talking about tonight…she has TRUE BEAUTY actually- inside and out! )


“The way we think about our bodies has a strong correlation to how we treat our bodies”

When we see that the unrealistic body types  throughout the media don’t exist in real life. We can start to recognize and redefine real beauty and health for ourselves!” 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Cleaning verses Priorities

Today my daughter and Miss Jenny came over while Angie was in school. Angie is trying to help Lee and I organize the garage. I know that we do it at least twice a yea,r but that really isn’t even enough. We laughed so hard as we would go through box after box of my stuff. She would call me a hoarder and I would start laughing and say “ I have asked for years for help… and all you guys do is make fun of me.” I know I am not really a hoarder but I do have a lot of stuff, supplies mostly for any type of arts and crafts, or sewing project you could ever imagine. For 20 years I sold Arts and Crafts to help pay for Birthdays and Christmas. I don’t believe there is a craft out there that I haven’t made and sold! Honestly…I have done just about everything out there and the proof is in the garage! Smile

Well, we thought it wouldn’t take too long, but low and behold we were still there when Angie came home from school. She wasn’t too crazy about us cleaning and kept asking if we could play. Finally we went outside for awhile and then she went over to see our neighbor who was working on her lawn. In her yard, she had some apple trees and so she asked Angie if she would like to pick some. Of course she was thrilled… and so after she got a bag full then she begged to make Apple Cider, Apple pies or anything. Amy and I kept cleaning and then finally I looked at her face and realized I needed to stop right then and just go make apple something with my girl!  So that is exactly what we did.
Is the house or garage finished? Absolutely NOT…but Angie and I had a blast making Apple Scones and Apple Crisp. Angie loved using the apple peeler/slicer too!
So I was grateful that I finally remembered as a Grandma ( actually Nana ) what my priorities are,  and need to try not to forget them so quickly!


“My life is blessed; I have held my children's children.”     ~Jeremy Taylor

“Surely, two of the most satisfying experiences in life must be those of being a grandchild or a grandparent.”      ~Donald A. Norberg

“Grandma always made you feel she had been waiting to see just you all day and now the day was complete.”      ~Marcy DeMaree

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Date Night by myself!



Well, in all of our 29 years of marriage, Jeff and I haven’t missed too many Date Nights. We held them as high priority and to tell you the truth, we both could hardly wait till Friday night, especially when the kids were little.

We have been redoing some of the floors and walls in our house, and so we put off our Friday night date this week to Saturday night. the bad news is that Jeff wasn’t feeling good by last night and so I decided to go out by myself. At the time it seemed like a good idea, but as the night wore on, I was thinking otherwise. I first went to the store where I needed to pick something up and then I went and got dinner….yes ….all by myself. It is interesting sitting alone, I didn’t quite know what to do with myself…mostly I just watched the people who were around me eating. One family had two little kids and the Mother kept asking her little boy (who was eating a slice of pizza ) if he wanted a piece of broccoli. She asked him several times and he without even looking at her, kept saying ‘No’. I was amazed at how many times the Mother kept asking him, it reminded me that I am not the only Mother who keeps asking about healthy options ….OVER AND OVER AGAIN!  Smile

Next, I had to go into a fabric store to buy a piece of Halloween fabric to make something for a friend. While I was in there, the lady who was cutting my fabric asked me if I had read in the news about the rabid bat that was in one of their other fabric stores ( not in this area )? I just laughed and asked “ did anyone get bit?” Her response was she didn’t think so, then I couldn’t help but think… wouldn’t that be an awful if I had been at that store and got bit by a rabid bat while buying Halloween fabric?  I could see the head lines now…. TWO TIME BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR DIES, NOT FROM CANCER BUT FROM A RABID BAT BITE WHILE SHOPPING FOR HALLOWEEN FABRIC! Smile I am not sure why that struck me funny but it did. Some times my sense of humor even scares me!

The rest of my date, I realized how blessed I am to still have my best friend and husband  here with me. A dear friend of mine last year, lost her husband and she told me how hard it has been trying to get used to being Alone all the time. One comment she said was… “ For the longest time I didn’t know where I belonged, I mean everyone else has their lives going on and now I didn’t know where to go or what to do”. I realize now that as Jeff and I get older that we need to be grateful for every day that we get to be together. I just soooooooooooooo appreciated him and what a great friend and support he has been to me throughout the years. I also had a new appreciation for those of my friends who are single, they must be incredibly strong. I admire them and thought how I need to keep them in my thoughts and prayers. Too often we take for granted things that we have always had. Now that we are getting older, I guess I think of those type of things. So I came home and gave Jeff an extra hug, and said a little prayer of thanks for still having each other.

So I guess the Date Night for myself wasn’t too bad, especially if it made me more appreciative of what I have, that is no small thing!

Good night dear friends!


“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’ (Magdeleine Scudéry, in John P. Bradley and others, comps., The International Dictionary of Thoughts [1969], 472). True charity ought to begin in marriage, for it is a relationship that must be rebuilt every day.”  ~ James E. Faust 2004

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Finally started to use some of my Motherhood skills again today!

It seems like lately I haven’t been doing as much of my basic household chores and projects. We did start last week putting in new flooring. Which of course meant we had to rip up the baseboards that were connected to the kitchen. The in order to get the kitchen floor finished we had to rip up the carpet, so we could do the landing area too with the new flooring and well…I am sure that all of you realize what I mean, when I say things have been a bit crazy around here and very un-organized. I really would turn myself in IF there was a place I could go to get help with my clutter issues. I mean it!
I can be organized for a small period of time but then… hits me again!

So by noon my crock pots were full of soup, then I kept trying to clean. I was a bit ashamed on how dirty I really let it get! So I truly felt like I was nesting today…no I am not pregnant! But I am going to be a NANA again in March, so maybe that is why I am nesting?   Smile



Well, I also taught some of the young women from church today and we had a great time. We talked about our self esteem and self worth. I read to the girls the book…YOU ARE SPECIAL by Max Lucado

  For all of you who haven’t read it, you should. You would love it and your kids would love it!

It is a great book to remind us of our self Worth and not to take with too much credit… with what the world thinks you should be. It truly is a great book and reminder to us all. Check it out some time, and you will be surprised that the message of the book is good for young and old!

Good night dear friends!

“No child is immune to peer pressure.”   ~ KATHI HUDSON

“Kids ... can get to the point where they feel peer pressure that isn't even there simply because of how they see themselves.”    ~WALT MUELLER

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Importance of the Harvest speech September 2011

I was privileged to speak last night at the All Saints Lutheran Church. I have to say what a great evening it was and once again, I found myself surrounded by incredible women.

I mentioned that I would put the notes of my talk on my blog so, here it is…


Read…Matthew 9:37-38…



This scripture makes me realize that we are all God’s hands here on earth, we need to be ready and willing to do the things He needs us to do, but first I believe that we need to make sure we have our lives in order.
I try to go over a check list in my mind every now and then, about how I am doing in certain areas that I think are vital in order to serve with the Savior with all my heart

.Here is my check list …

#1…    Do I put on my air mask first?

I believe that one of the hardest things for women to do is to take care of themselves. I remember thinking as a young Mom that I had to do everything!  I really struggled taking time out to eat right, exercise or get enough sleep. I actually felt guilty if I did anything fun for myself. How foolish I was back then, some time wisdom comes so slowly and so painfully. It is vital to take care of ourselves first, so that we have the ability, the energy and the strength to help others

"Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."    ~World Health Organization, 1948

"The... patient should be made to understand that he or she must take charge of his own life.  Don't take your body to the doctor as if he were a repair shop."    ~Quentin Regestein


#2…   I think we need to ask ourselves what baggage are we carrying?

28 years ago Jeff and I were going to meet a Counselor for my depression. Why was I depressed?  Well, I was a child of incest and I tried to tell when I was 5 years old but I was not believed. Now I had just delivered my first baby and it was a girl. I was terrified that like me, she would too become one of my grandfather’s victims… IF I DIDN”T SPEAK UP and stop the chain of abuse.

The first thing the counselor asked where our little girl was, and I mentioned that my parents were watching her.  He then asked if they knew I was getting counseling.  My comment was " No, this is about me and my family, which only includes just Jeff, Amy and I"  Next he said something that I will never forget, he said "Lynn, when you are really ready to get rid of this baggage you are carrying, that does not belong to you, then let me know and we will meet again".  At the time, I was so upset, I thought he didn't understand my situation, but I soon realized that he actually understood it better than I.
He was right, I had been carrying baggage around for years that wasn't mine, I had become so used to carrying it, that I didn't even realize the damage it was doing to me, from bearing that type of weight (emotionally) for so many years.

This quote reminded me of my situation.

"We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it.  But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday's burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it."  ~John Newton

Now even 28 years later, I still have to work at checking what baggage I am carrying each day.  I also need to remember what the Savior said, to each of us in
Read… Matthew 11:28-30  We need to remember that the Savior helps us with our burdens, shares our load, but does not take them away from us. We do not need to carry it all on our own!


# 3    Am I willing to OBEY?

Mary ( the Mother of Christ ) is such a great example to me of Obedience.  Even after the Angel came unto and told her that she had been chosen and to be the Mother of Jesus Christ the Son of the Highest, even after she questioned how all this could possible come to pass? Her ultimate answer was…“Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word”

Sometimes I wonder if we shouldn’t be more like Mary, she wasn’t perfect … but pure in our thoughts, words, deeds and motive.
Later in that same chapter we read when Mary and her cousin Elizabeth were talking she said
“ My soul doth magnify the Lord”  Mary was willing and obedient!


#4  How is my faith doing?   And do I daily communicate with God?

They say that “great faith has a short shelf life” what that means to me is that every day there will be things that come along to shake our faith, whether it is illness, loss of a job, death of a loved one, pain or bad choices…it is important that we continue to check and see how our faith is doing.

" Faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time, for one will dispel the other"  ~ Thomas S. Monson

There is great power in prayer and I have personally witnessed this over and over again in my life. I can not deny it! When I was diagnosed the first time with Cancer, I was overwhelmed by the many friends who prayed for me and my family on a daily basis. I was touched as I would be in the grocery store and a stranger would come up to me and ask if I was Lynn Woodard. As I said yes, with a puzzled look…she then smiled and said “Oh I thought I recognized you from the photo someone brought to church. We are praying for you on our Prayer Rolls!  I couldn’t believe it a stranger ( one of the Lord’s laborer…was praying for me !)

Then 7 years later when I was diagnosed for the 2nd time with Cancer, once again, I felt the strength and  support of loved ones and friends.One of my dear friends went as far as to make me a Prayer Shawl, she reminded me to wrap up in my shawl often and feel the love and prayers that were going Heavenward in my behalf…and I did and still do!

So remember this quote about prayer by James E. Faust…“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.”

And remember this quote on faith by Patrick Overton…"When you have come to the edge of all light that you know and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, Faith is knowing one of two things will happen: there will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly”

# 5…Perspective… "If you were told you only had a week, a month, or a year to live, what would you change?

This perspective empowers you and I… to understand what really matters in this world. If we change, if we improve, there is a rippling effect of love and strength, which has the power to change our family, community, and so on..."

Proverbs 23:7"As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."

We need to be happy. The Savior said it himself. Sometimes that sounds too simplistic I think. But in actuality, we have more happiness if we choose to consider things from a positive perspective. Everyone goes through the ups and downs of life, however, we can make a decision to dwell on the negative or like they say… “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!”

"If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail."  ~ Abraham H. Maslow

  It is important to associate with people who are positive and uplifting. In order to stay healthy and happy you need good energy, and let’s be honest not everyone has that
. (story of Lauren and the cut up straws by names ) . I was grateful that she was protecting me, when maybe I was too weak to protect myself!

So let’s go ahead and each day try to change our perspective for the better. Let’s not compare ourselves to others but just be our best selves.

They say anyway… ““The only normal people are the one's you don't know very well.”  ~ Alfred Adler

  # 6 … Service and Gratitude…  I always ask myself… what I could be doing for someone else?

"When you find yourselves a little gloomy, look around you and find somebody that is in a worse plight than yourself; talk to him and find out what the trouble is, then try to remove it with the wisdom which the Lord bestows upon you; and the first thing you know, your gloom is gone, you feel light, the Spirit of the Lord is upon you, and everything seems illuminated."   ~ Lorenzo Snow

Read… John 12 :35-36

…One of the great blessings of living in the great North West is all the Lighthouses we have close by. We love visiting the beaches and looking at all the different lighthouses

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

  In the dictionary is tells us what al·tru·is·tic means...unselfishly concerned for or devoted to the welfare of others "

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

No matter how much pain I am in, how sad I am feeling, there is always an immediate lifting of my spirit when I stop thinking of myself and serve.

I love this story that a Mother relates…
She says Years ago when  our four month old son had an operation. I felt forsaken and alone in the hospital waiting room. Another mother there was particularly comforting to me. She took me down the hall to meet her twelve year old daughter who was suffering from leukemia. I found her to be like her Mother, peacefully  and cheerfully accepting this fatal illness. The girl was busy knitting dish clothes for her nurses. Her brightness helped me put my own concerns temporarily aside. A few days later, our little one, now at home, and was much better. I received a note from this Mother. The illness had taken my new young friend back to her Heavenly Father, but before she died, she asked her Mother to send me a hand-knit dishcloth. What a beautiful example of the Savior they both were to me.”


Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best …”It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”

  #7… Humor…  How important will all this be in 20 years?

You know as a Mom you do the best you can and sometimes you just have to laugh and realize that life is not perfect and your not perfect but trying.

I like the saying “Triumph is just ‘umph’ after the try”

Story of the homemade spaghetti sauce and acidophilus

Story of the Aloe Plant     

Another thing that I think is funny and makes me smile is when I was trying to come up with a name for my Quilting/Sewing blog. I needed to make a card for it and so of course I needed a name. I decided to call it Mandie and Me Designs. That has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

Well, my kids didn’t really think so because they know that Mandie is the name of my prosthetic. I am not sure why I did that, probably because I got tired of saying and spelling  the word prosthetic all the time! J The truth is Mandie and I go every where together and because of her, I was able to go back into life with much more confidence and peace after my mastectomy.So I feel blessed to be able to have replaceable parts for the ones that are not working any more or gone, in my case both problems applied

.My quote for myself and Mandie is this one…"Oh, my friend, it's not what they take away from you that counts - it's what you do with what you have left."  ~Hubert Humphrey


# 8     Purpose and Knowledge…  “What is my purpose here on earth? And am I doing it?

The answer to this question is in James 1:5-6…Who better to find out what our purpose Is, than from God? There are many out there in the world that continually try to tell us what we are or what we should do or look like, but I want to know from God what it is that my particular mission is. Once you find that out for yourself…then you will never be bored again, because you will realize what you need to do.

I love the story of Queen Ester…we know that she was an orphan, she was a Jew, and she was raised by her cousin Mordicai. Circumstances came up to where she was privileged to become the Queen, the King did not know that she was a Jew. To summarize more, at one point Esther’s cousin told her about danger that was coming to the Jews, if she didn’t intercede. He suggested that she go to the King and talk to him, but to go to the King uninvited could be life threatening but she realized she may be the Jews only hope to have deliverance. Here is what her cousin  said to her to help her with this terribly hard decision…Esther 4 :14….’Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

"Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before."
~James Buckham

Do we know what the Lord needs us to do and are we ready and willing to do it?

Remember…”Knowledge is Power”

Hannah Snesh said “In my life’s chain of events nothing was accidental. Everything happened according to an inner need.”

We need to know that the Lord won’t give us more than we can handle, we need to trust in His power

  Yes, "Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before."
~James Buckham

Do we know what the Lord needs us to do and are we ready and willing to do it? Remember…”Knowledge is Power” Hannah Snesh said “In my life’s chain of events nothing was accidental. Everything happened according to an inner need.”

We need to know that the Lord won’t give us more than we can handle, we need to trust in His power

Yes, “ There are some things you learn best in calm and some in storm.”  Willa Cather 

#9 Self Worth and Self Esteem? …Do you know the difference?

Three years ago on  November 13th 2008   I wrote this in my journal… “My spirits were high until I got ready to leave the hospital and first took a look at myself in the mirror, what a shock. My whole chest is wrapped with ace bandages so I actually couldn't see the effects of the surgery but my body still looks deformed already. I couldn't help but cry when I looked again in the mirror. How could this really be happening to me and how will I ever feel normal and good about myself again? I know there are many women who have gone through this and worse, but for today I am just talking about me. How can such a routine surgery now days, leave someone feeling so ugly, empty, sad and doubtful?”

I had forgotten at that moment what my Self Worth was!

Self Worth is who you are…a daughter of God, however Self Esteem is how you feel about yourself. I believe if we could remember more often our self worth… then our self esteem would be better!

“The choices we make about the lives we lived, will determine the kind of legacies we leave.”  ~ Tavis Smily

I have this quote on my mirror and I read it every day , to remind myself just exactly who I am and the work I need to be doing!



   “ Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest
fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our
darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves,  Who am I to be
brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
     Actually , who are you NOT to be? You are a child of God. Your
playing small does not serve the world.  There is nothing
enlightening about shrinking so that other people won’t feel
insecure around you.
    We were born to manifest the glory of God within us. It is not
just in some of us- it is in everyone.  And as we let our own light
shine we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically
liberates others.”                                                  ~ Marianne Williamson

I know this post is long but I hope for all of you who wanted to come but couldn’t will feel the spirit of what I was talking about.

Good night dear friends!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Choices, we all have to make them.

Tonight right after my speech at the All Saints Lutheran Church, I made a choice to go to the hospital to see a dear friend and her new baby instead…of staying home and writing my blog. I had many who said they would have loved to come hear me speak tonight but they had other obligations. So my intentions were to write down the notes from my speech so they could read it but…that cute little baby just needed to have his Aunt Lynn hold him. No he really isn’t blood relation but just about as close as you can get! Smile so it is late and had better just leave you with a positive thought and head to bed. I am teaching at the Quilt Shop tomorrow, so I need to be rested up for that!


So good night dear friends and I will talk to you tomorrow!


“Charlie Brown: “Sometimes I lie awake at night and ask, ‘Where have I gone wrong?’ Then a voice

says to me, ‘This is going to take more than one night.”’   ~ Charles M. Schulz


So glad that I am not the only one who feels like that! Smile

Monday, September 12, 2011

Missed Opportunities!

Tonight I have been trying to finish up the last minute notes for my Motivational Speech tomorrow evening. I don’t think I have enough energy tonight to write much on my own, so I will leave you with this sweet story.

Since my computer hardware died, we had to put in a whole new operating system, and now I am left trying to figure out how in the world to write and do my posts. I still haven’t figured out how to add photos yet. Just be patient with me as I try to figure all of this out.

Good night dear friends!

A Nickel in the Road
Exercising is not one of my favorite pastimes but I know it's good for me. So every day I try to get outside and take a 2-mile walk. Most days I carry a small notebook and pen with me so that I can jot down the random brilliant thoughts that come to me as I stroll around the neighborhood.
A few weeks ago I was rounding a corner about half way through my walk and noticed a nickel in the road. I adjusted my gait so that I stepped on the shiny coin and kept walking.
Within a few steps I started thinking of my daughter who always stops to pick up loose change. She wouldn't have passed this one by. I was half tempted to turn around and go back for it, but I thought it would be embarrassing if someone happened to see me stooping down to pick up a nickel.
It didn't take long for me to transition my thoughts from that nickel to those small opportunities that have been in front of me that I've stepped on or passed by. How many have I overlooked because I thought they were insignificant? How many have I been too embarrassed to attempt? How many have I stepped on because I wanted to show the world they were unworthy of my attention?
Later that day I told my daughter about the nickel incident because it was continued to weigh on my mind. She didn't say, "Don't worry about it. It was only a nickel." She did say, "I would have picked it up. Did you know that one day at school I found over a dollar in change on the floor?"
She had taken advantage of seemingly small opportunities. But when added up, they became something worthwhile. In my daughter's case, she was able to buy a can of soda from the vending machine at school-something she wouldn't have been able to do otherwise.
The next morning I paid attention as I walked that same stretch of road. I was determined to pick up that nickel if I saw it again. But alas, it was gone. Not surprising I guess. Someone else is usually willing to take advantage of the opportunities that others choose to pass by. Unfortunately by the time I decided to take advantage of it, the opportunity was no longer there.
Of course not every opportunity is one that I want to stop and pick up. Some merely resemble something that would help me achieve my goals in life, the way that bottle caps, from a distance, look a lot like coins. But some we recognize immediately as worthwhile yet we still choose to walk by them.
Since the day I walked past that nickel in the road, I've been more attuned to opportunities that surround me. I've been paying attention to my response to them. Instead of quickly discounting the ones that appear to be small payoffs, I'm looking at the bigger picture. What can a small opportunity add to what I already have going on? How can a small opportunity serve as the beginning of something bigger?
What a great life lesson! And it only cost me a nickel.


“When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break.”         ~William Hale White

“The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.”       ~Benjamin Disraeli

Sunday, September 11, 2011

American spirit


I loved this quote by Mack Wilberg …

"As much sorrow and grief as came from 9/11 there have also come positives. The indomitable American spirit turned a tragedy into a triumph of coming together as a nation, caring and serving one another."

I thought  today at church as we had a Moment of Silence, for all those who  gave up their lives and their families during 9/11… that it made me realize that we need not forget the lessons that we learned from 9/11.

May those memories change our lives and attitudes forever. I was in the grocery store the other day and saw on the front cover of a magazine where the children of the victims of 9/11 was shown. How proud they must be to  know that they are the children of heroes. Yes, their lives also had to have come with heartaches and sorrow but still…hopefully they will live their lives in such a manner that their parents would have been proud.

I think that we need to all check how our American Spirit is doing? Are we actively involved in making the world a better and safer place? Are we being heroes for our children and those around us?
Yes, let us not ever forget the tragedy of that day, and still be ever prayerful… for all those who paid the ultimate price.

Good night dear friends!

"Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children." -President George W. Bush, November 11, 2001

"You can be sure that the American spirit will prevail over this tragedy." -Colin Powell

"The moment to spend with a husband who loves me, or a sick friend, or a delicious new grandchild is here and now. Not some time later .... The nation learned this lesson all at once that horrible day in September 2001. The pictures stay with us -- the fires and falling debris, and, most hauntingly, the faces. Look how young so many of them were, people who thought there would be much more time, a lot of 'later' when they could do all the things they really wanted to do. I grieve for their families -- especially for those, like me, who haven't found any trace of the people they loved. But I grieve even more for the people who died that day. They couldn't know what we know now about the precious gift of time." -Cokie Roberts, contributing senior news analyst for NPR News

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Bigger than me day!

Sometimes I wonder why certain things happen in multiples? Maybe because it takes more patience, courage and understanding to handle them. I really don't need to tell you all the struglles that I am going through right now, but it is probably safe to say that the last couple of days have been a bit bigger than me.

Right now I am at my daughter's house using her computer (as I babysit the girls).I won't be able to put a photo with my post because ...all my photos are on the hard drive of my computer that died a couple of days ago. I have had some dear friends try to retrieve all my information on the hard drive but so far no luck.

Even as I sit here tonight feeling a bit sorry for myself, I realize that things aren't really that bad and that I have a lot to be grateful for. Tonight we had a meeting at church and I sat with a dear friend of mine who is handicapped in many ways. When she was 18 years old, she was hit by a drunk driver, that left her speechless, unable to move any part of her body except her head, and very limited movement with her arms. Her courage and determination to keep smiling through this all has been amazing to me. As I sat with her tonight and held her hand, she just kept making noises that means she is happy. She and I met about 6 or so years ago, I instantly felt like a sister to her. Many people would think that she is totally handicapped but her mind is totally there and if you are with her in her room in her center where she lives, then she can use her computer to punch out one letter at a time with trying to steady the end of a pencil to talk to you. I realize that it takes time to wait for her to write. She often has to wipe her mouth, because she can't close her mouth very well, she drolls often, yet you will never EVER see her without a smile. I thought tonight how brave she is. What would it be like to know and see and feel things and yet never be able to really express them. I can't imagine, wanting to say something and have to wait until someone takes you to the computer and then waits for you to painstakingly try letter by letter to write it down. Yes, it truly made me realize, that I am NOT having a bigger than me day, I am just experiencing life and I should be grateful that I am healthy enough to call someone to fix my computer, walk to their house to pick it up. To call somewhere if I have a question...yes, my life is good and how grateful I am tonight for a dear friend, who has gone through so much, to teach me that JUST through her smile.

So please be patient with me and I try to learn how to use other people's computer and forgive me for my complaining and short sightedness.
Hope you had a wonderful day, Good night dear friends!

"It is a good thing to take LONG pauses in our pursuit of Happiness and just be HAPPY"

" We know what we are but not what we may be." ~ Shakespeare

Thursday, September 8, 2011

We are having technical difficulty!

Went to turn on my computer this evening and my hard drive died on me. I couldn't believe it. So tonight I am going to just leave you with a quote so my husband can continue to use the computer and see if he can help retrieve any of my files! Oh brother, I think this is why you should back up your files on your computer every now and then.
Good night dear friends!

019 3

"As I go through all kinds of feelings and experiences in my journey through life -- delight, surprise, chagrin, dismay -- I hold this question as a guiding light: "What do I really need right now to be happy?" What I come to over and over again is that only qualities as vast and deep as love, connection and kindness will really make me happy in any sort of enduring way."

- Sharon Salzberg

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Getting to know your neighbors!

Tonight was our neighborhood BBQ and it turned out well. We only thought of the idea a few days prior, so we didn't give our flyers out until Monday. Still we had about 15 neighbors/families there... it was wonderful. We got to meet new neighbors that had just moved in, old neighbors that we have never met and then to re-visit with those neighbors that we already knew and loved. It was so much fun and how interesting to get to know more about them and their lives.
I went and got name tags so we could all call each other by our first names. It went well and we all were already planning our next get together! I am so grateful to live in a wonderful area with some incredible neighbors...what a treat tonight was!

I think we needed to do this BBQ get together... so we could all at least take the time to get to  know each other. I laugh when I remember how my grandmother used to tell me about neighbor's life, just by watching their laundry. Too funny, true but funny non the less.
But since most of us don't have a laundry line any more, I thought it would be nice if we shared a meal together and...we did

little girl clothes line 

A clothesline was a news forecast
To neighbors passing by,
There were no secrets you could keep
When clothes were hung to dry.
It also was a friendly link
For neighbors always knew,
If company had stopped on by
To spend a night or two.
For then you'd see the "fancy sheets"
And towels upon the line;
You'd see the "company table cloths"
With intricate designs.
The line announced a baby's birth
From folks who lived inside -
As brand new infant clothes were hung,
So carefully with pride!
The ages of the children could
So readily be known
By watching how the sizes changed,
You'd know how much they'd grown!
It also told when illness struck,
As extra sheets were hung;
Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe, too,
Haphazardly were strung.
It also said, "Gone on vacation now"
When lines hung limp and bare.
It told, "We're back!" when full lines sagged, with not an inch to spare!
New folks in town were scorned upon
If wash was dingy and gray,
As neighbors carefully raised their brows,
And looked the other way.
But clotheslines now are of the past,
For dryers make work much less.
Now what goes on inside a home
Is anybody's guess!
I really miss that way of life. It was a friendly sign.
When neighbors knew each other best by what hung on the line.

" Don't buy the house, buy the neighborhood."  ~ Russian proverb

"Everyone is a friend, until they prove otherwise."
- sent by Steve

"Friends are the most important ingredient in this recipe of life."
- (sent by Dior Yamasaki)


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Unconditional Love

I am re-reading a book called I DON'T HAVE TO MAKE EVERYTHING ALL BETTER  written by Gary and Joy Lundberg. I have read it on more than one occasion, but sometimes when I get stuck on a relationship situation, I try to go back and read it again. I try see what I should have done or could have done better or different. I like most people don't like confrontation, especially if the person you are confronting is a very confrontational.  I wonder at times, how I can explain how I really feel about a relationship and how to make it better? I know by reading this book that I can't change anyone else but myself, still I want to be able to make sure that my boundaries are set and respected.

I found this article on Unconditional Love, I liked it... a few really good points to remember. One thing I really like was the reminder that true love IS NOT BASED ON POWER, and  IT IS NOT BASED ON CONTROL! I do believe that IF your love is unconditional, then you really will make it through anything, and that would be because you would do anything for your loved one, even at the cost of changing things that might need to be changed. Yes, Unconditional Love speaks for itself I believe it's actions and results!
Something to think of, that is for sure! Good night dear friends!

Unconditional Love

When we love someone in its truest of form, it is a pure love, a love with no conditions. Love out of purity can develop over time or be instantaneous in some situations.

When we love or care for someone unconditionally it is because we want to, not because we feel we have to. We don't love that person because of what they do for us. We don't love them because we want something that they have. We love them because we have a special place reserved in our hearts and in our spirits specifically for them. This love is unshaken because it is based on truth not on convenience.

It doesn't even matter if our love is reciprocated by the person we care for. It doesn't matter if they turn their backs and walk away. It doesn't matter if they choose to say nothing at all, because the love you have for them exists regardless of the circumstance and regardless of the condition. It is simply based on your strong sense of care for this individual. It is not based on power. It is not based on control. It is based on love's purest intentions.

When we love someone unconditionally, we love them as they are, as they were, and as they intend to be. We embrace their past, their present, and their future as a fine intricate detail of who they are. When they speak, we listen to them. When they are still, we stand by their sides. When they need to be left alone, we leave them be, but we continue to love them even when separated by distance.

Unconditional love goes beyond just the emotions of love, it develops in the core of our being as it is there where we hold those close to us so dearly.  ~ Meilena Hauslendale

"The better part of one's life consists of his friendships." - Abraham Lincoln

"Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being." -Goethe


"Give others freedom to be themselves. Appreciate the differences between their ways an yours."

Monday, September 5, 2011

Pumpkins are here!

Yes, it is definitely that time of year again, when the nights are getting cooler and the day light is getting shorter. I love the Fall season. I am not trying to rush it... because it does feel like we are just now getting the summer weather that we usually have. Still we have pumpkins on the vine in my back yard (no they don't look like the ones in this picture, these are the pumpkins I made and that I am teaching how to make at the Quilt Shop ).

I spent part of the day today with one of our neighbors...passing out flyers for a Neighborhood BBQ this week. I am so grateful that we took the time to do that, everyone that we talked to seemed excited by it. It seems funny that you can live next door or down the street for years of each other and still not really know what is going on in each others lives. So we are excited to take the time to eat and just talk to each other. We have a lot of new families that have moved in so...we are hoping to have them come and get acquainted too!

I feel it is so important for us to get to know our neighbors, that is who you are living by and it would be a great help to each other if we were friends. We already have a pretty close neighborhood but still many times it is hard to find the time to get together. It does take time and effort to get to know your neighbors but... it has always been worth it for our family. We have been blessed with many wonderful neighbors who became dear friends throughout the years. So I am hoping that you are enjoying this September and will take the time out to get to know a neighbor near you. Who couldn't use another friend?
Speaking of dear friends...Good night!

Mom's pumpkin 3

"We cannot live only for ourselves.  A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men."  ~Herman Melville

"While the spirit of neighborliness was important on the frontier because neighbors were so few, it is even more important now because our neighbors are so many."  ~Lady Bird Johnson

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Labor Day Birthday!

Our son Bradley was born on Labor Day, that would have been appropriate IF... I would have labored having him, but I didn't ...he was a planned C-section. I just remember hearing him cry for the first time and then they laid him up next to me and I cried. I was worried that my heart wouldn't be big enough to love two kids wrong I was. Brad was a great baby and a 100% boy. He always had to be moving and making some kind of noise, he loved the outdoors, and could eat a potato bug...quicker than anyone! :(
Life seemed to move faster with two kids, there was always something going on, still having Brad around was a joy in our lives. I like this poem because that explained him to a T!

Little Boys Little boys come in all shapes and sizes,
Shy and adventurous, full of surprises,
With misshapen halos and mischievous grins,
Small dirty faces, and sweet, sticky chins.
They'll keep you so busy, and yet all the while
Nothing can brighten the world like their smile.
And no greater treasure has brought homes more joy
Than a curious, active, and lovable boy!  ~ Unknown

But then Brad started growing up and I remember the first time he left home...I cried my eyes out again. I wondered if I had taught him everything he needed to make it for himself out in the world? And boy did he ever, he served a 2 year mission for our church in the Philippines and loved it and the people there!

Then he got married to our cute Krystal, and in April they both graduated from college!

And now they are working and expecting their first baby! How does time go by that fast? I can still remember of getting up early on Labor Day to check in to the hospital to go have Brad, and now he is going to have a little one of his own.

Brad is such an incredible part of our family. He is funny, he has a very good heart and loves everyone. He is so talented and passionate about his work. I don't think we could have picked out a better life for him. I feel grateful and blessed to be his Mom. How proud I am of the man he has become. Happy Birthday son!

"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.

"Good fathers make good sons."  ~Author Unknown


   I had a Doctor appointment a few weeks ago and as I was sitting in the office waiting my turn, when a young women came in who was pregnant and very sick. As soon as she came in she ran to the bathroom to throw up, she came back into the waiting room but was hurting so bad that she could hardly sit still. Just a few minutes later another lady came in, she was probably about 20 years older than the first woman, and she stated she was the young woman's Mother. It made me homesick for my Mom when I saw her sit down beside her grown daughter and move the hair out of her eyes and rub her back. I felt like I was invading their privacy as I listened to her whisper words of encouragement, and yet you could still see the worry in her eyes. I am not sure if this was her daughter's first pregnancy or what, but still she was a Mother who cared and loved this daughter and I am sure... the baby that was inside of her. Yes, I have been blessed with an incredible husband, sensitive kids and the most amazing friends so that when I am sick, I am well taken care of...but I still miss my Mom!

   Now I am a Mother of adult children, and it is a new role for me. It is hard know when to Mother and when to stay away. It gets more complicated when each child is different, so you don't treat each of them the exact same way. Then you add on top of that Grandchildren, who you naturally want to help Mother and some times that is ok and sometimes it isn't.
    I remember when Amy was born and how inadequate I felt as her Mother. I had never been a Mother before, there wasn't any instruction book that came out with her and so I had to watch, learn and listen to my teach me how to be her Mother. Now 29 years later, there still isn't an instruction book and so ... I sorta feel like that new Mom again. When do I give advice? What boundaries should there be? How much do I help?
   I have learned the hard way that you almost have to start over like a new Mom, you have to watch, learn and listen to your heart to know how to Mother an adult child. The only difference is that little newborn didn't tell you if you did something wrong, or if you should have done it this way or that children do. Sometimes that hurts, only because that isn't what you meant to happen. But then again the nice part is that as adults, you can talk and work things out, so I guess it all equals out in the long run?

But as I remembered that Mom, I realized that no matter what...most Mom's just love their children sooooooooo much that they would do absolutely anything to help them. So hopefully there is forgiveness and a lot of patience, as we all learn how to handle the new aspect of our roles as adult children and Mothers.


"Mother's love grows by giving."  ~Charles Lamb

"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