Saturday, June 30, 2012

In the Middle

   I was reading an article today, that reminded me of the importance of remembering we are in the Middle! I will share part of the article with you to explain.
  " By many world calendars, July marks the middle of the year. While the beginnings and endings of things are celebrated and remembered, the middle of things often goes unnoticed.
   Beginnings are times for making resolutions, for creating plans, for bursts of energy. Endings are times for winding down and may involve feelings of completion or loss. But with the proper outlook, considering ourselves as in the middle of things can help us not only to understand life a little better but also to live it a little more meaningfully.

   This change in perspective is more than a simple trick of the mind. There is a sublime truth behind the idea that we are always in the middle. If we look at our location on the map, we are tempted to say we are at a beginning. But if we look more closely, wherever we are is simply in the middle of a larger space.
As it is with space, so it is with time."
   Recently on my trip back to West Virginia, Shirley and I stopped at the mortuary to visit and put flowers on my Mom and Dad's graves. It was a surreal feeling (as this article goes on to say ) to look at the birth dates and death dates on the headstone connected by the usual insignificant little dash, but this represented their lives ( and all the things they started or finished in their life. Their accomplishments, their joys, their sorrows, their hopes and their dreams ). How grateful I am to know that this life isn't the end, yes... this is the middle of my life; and I want to celebrate all the beginnings and ending moments with those I love. I want to live in the moment. I hope you will too. Good night dear friends!

"Being always in the middle means that the game is never over, hope is never lost, and defeat is never final."  ~ Dieter F. Ochtdorf

"Forever ---is composed of Nows."

To read this article go here:

Thursday, June 28, 2012


I found this poem in a Scrap booking area of the store. I loved what it said, that is why I love scrapbooks, and journals.
And since I am still aching some from my 3 hour root canal today... I think this will have to do for tonight!



Good night dear friends!

"My dreams get bigger the more naps I take"

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Take a meditation vacation!

   I was reading an article the other day called  THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE "OM "
It talks about taking a meditation vacation. When everyone is getting ready for summer, the perfect vacation time, this suggests that one of the vacations we should plan on taking is learning to relax, focus and meditate.
   I have told you before about what I was like when I first learned the concept of meditation, I was a basket case, I truly thought I couldn't control my mind racing, and the thought of being in the moment was scary to me. What about all that had happened in my life, and what about all the things that could happen in the future? All I can say is that I am very grateful for my dear friend who taught me the importance of listening and knowing my body, plus she taught me how to meditate and control my thoughts. No easy task on her part.
Do I still do it? YES! When do I do it? When my body tells me that I am overloaded. When I am in doing my cancer check ups, especially when I am inside the MRI machine. The only way I can stay focused and ok in that tiny place is ... to go to my Happy place. I use it to sleep at night. I use it when I am multi-tasking to the point that I realize I am not enjoying the here and now. I watched my daughter and daughter in laws practice and use it during childbirth. I used it during my tests and surgeries, and I will have to use it tomorrow morning when I have my root canal.
 How grateful I am that I know how to control my thoughts and how to escape to my Happy Place. I need to do it more often, so that my body gets a break. So yes, try it is an amazing and peaceful feeling. Here is part of the article, that I got out of my Costco magazine by Matthew Robb...
"Pushed and pulled from every direction, millions of Americans identify stress as a major health concern. 
Research clearly links chronic stress to a host of conditions; anxiety, insomnia, depression, anger, hypertension, infertility, diabetes, accelerated aging, heart disease and more. 
Meditation, by contrast, acts as a mini-vacation, re balancing an inner world turned upside down. Once you gain proficiency in this 3,500-year-old practice, you can enter a calming state at will. In minutes, racing thoughts coast to a welcome rest, knotted muscles unclench and you start to feel relaxed- even serene.
If anything is about meditation is difficult, it's escorting newcomers past all those Age of Aquarius, pass-the-granola stereotypes says Sarah McLean an author and meditation instructor.
Because our multitasking, rapid-fire world rarely requires our brains to focus intently for long periods of time, she notes, practitioners of meditation achieve and maintain a restful state "by focusing on something heard, something seen or something felt."
Sound...Hearing sounds like a gentle surf, or a prarie filled with birdsong, can provide a restful ambience.
Sight...Focus your eyes on a candle flame, or use your mind's eye to visualize yourself in a peaceful surrounding
Touch...go for a walk, notice your breathing.
Remember meditation is a gentle practice, not a competitive sport. Stay in the present moment, where our lives are actually happening.

Good night dear friends, I am going to head to bed and meditate myself!

"The best medicine is that which you will actually do"  ~ Sarah McLean

"Your mind is your instrument. Learn to be its master and not its slave."

 "The body needs material food every day. The soul needs spiritual food."

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A little word called NO

 I loved this article by Jason F. Wright. It is about the art of saying "NO". Something we all could probably benefit from, plus we would probably be much happier, IF we could learn how to use this little word properly.  Good night dear friends!

My wife answered this figurative newspaper ad several years ago: "HELP WANTED. Desperately need someone to train me in the art of saying No."
"No" is such a fascinating word, isn’t it? It’s among our children’s very first and it continues tumbling out of toddlers’ mouths for years.
As parents, we teach our little ones not to say it. “Eat your vegetables. It’s time for a nap. You’ll keep our little doughnuts-for-dinner secret from mom?”
Then, when our children become teenagers, we want them to say it all the time. “Will you break curfew with me? Will you drink this beer? Will you tease the kid who’s different?”
Nothing would make me more proud than to know my two teenage daughters say the word a thousand and one times a day.
Years later, as adults, the word can become even tougher to say. “Can you help me move? Can you work late? Can I borrow a hundred bucks, even though you don’t really have it to loan? Can my nine kids and me stay with you for a week while visiting town, even though we’re third cousins twice removed and I can’t remember your first name?”
“Of course! What kind of cereal do you like?”
Does this sound like you or someone you know? Then you might also need a "No Coach." Frankly, I’m not sure how I ever survived without one.
For most of my career, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. “Will you speak at my small Baptist church 700 miles away with a dozen people in attendance? Will you donate 50 books to the library? Will you present an assembly to my school for free, even though you spoke to our rival school across town and they paid you for your time?”
It’s been so bad, even if I’d been asked to fly around the world and speak at the Kremlin — on my dime — I would have struggled to say, "Nyet."
But everything changed a couple of years ago when my wife answered that ad and became my No Coach. She was the perfect fit for the job because she loves me and despite my efforts to prove her otherwise, she still thinks I'm a swell guy. Evidently she likes having me around and for my children to know what I look like in person and not via Skype from three time zones away.

It wasn’t easy, but she taught me to weigh every opportunity and learn to say no. With her gentle but steady nudging, I’ve learned that sometimes no matter how great the cause or the conference, a polite no is the right answer.
“I wish I could come; my daughter has a recital that night and I missed the last two. I sincerely regret that I can’t help this time; my wife hasn’t had a date night in weeks. I really wish I could speak to your book club; my wife is scheduled for a C-Section that night and I’d like to be there.”
As I write this column, I realize I’m not the only one who needs a No Coach.
I have a dear friend — we’ll call her Sabrina — who lives near me and hasn’t had a weekend to herself in more than six months. Every single Saturday she’s helping someone move, driving a friend in need across the state or donating some vital organ. She has an extraordinarily difficult time saying no, and people around her know it. She’s become everyone's go-to-gal for service.
Thousands will read this column and the vast majority will never meet Sabrina, but if you needed anything, I’m certain you could call. Need to borrow a car? Need someone to mediate a family dispute? Need someone to race over and perform a tracheotomy with a Pixy Stix and the tiny tweezers from the Operation board game? She’ll happily say, “Yes!” and throw in a hug for good measure.
I love my sweet friend, but just like the rest of us who struggle to say no, each time she says yes, isn't she also saying no to someone else?
Likewise, every time we say no and put our family's needs first, we’re really saying yes to those who matter most.
It's natural to want to say yes, especially for Christians wired to serve at the drop of a scripture verse. And it's natural to regret having to decline wonderful causes and opportunities to serve, but is there a greater cause or opportunity than our spouses and children? It’s easy to get lost in serving those at a distance and neglect the ones standing right at our side.
Despite my wife's best efforts, I'm sure I still say yes much more than I probably should. And, as a result of this column, I'll likely get a dozen new requests and probably agree to the majority of them.
Still, I’m grateful for the perspective that my personal No Coach has provided me. She understands that by saying no more often, I'll have more energy to say yes when it matters most.
Yes or no, do you need your own No Coach?

“I am definitely going to take a course on time management… just as soon as I can work it into my schedule.” – Louis E. Boone

 “You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it.” – Charles Buxton

 “Time lost is never found again.” – Benjamin Franklin

Monday, June 25, 2012

Real Love

Sunday, June 24, 2012

30 years and still in love!

It is hard to imagine my life without Jeff. He is truly my best friend, and that is saying something considering all the amazing Best Friends that I have. I fell in love with Jeff right after he dropped me off from our first date, and kissed me good night on the forehead. I knew he was different than anyone else I had dated ( that too is saying something, since I started dating at the age of 12). That actually is another story in and of it's self, I can tell you that later. He was amazing and somehow in such a short time, I knew that my life would be better, happier and safer if I got lucky enough to be his wife! He is my knight in shining armor. He is my protector, he is the best Father that a kid could have. He is one of the most righteous men I know, that was one of the top things that I was looking for in a husband ( someone who loved the Lord and every day tried to serve Him ). Yes, we have had a lot of hard times, rough times and ups and downs...but somehow we made it and we are still together and actually stronger and happier because of them. I ask my Heavenly Father every day for more time with him. There are still so many things we want to do together. I feel like having been able to have 30 years has been such a blessing, I know who I am today, is largely because of Jeff's love and support. I have much to be thankful for.
Well, the girls got to have a Sleep Over with us tonight, since their Mom and Dad are working frantically to pack up their house for the big move on Tues. They were so excited to be sleeping over that it was almost impossible to calm them down and get them to bed. I love having my girls here with us.
I pray that our little Kai will be able to do some of the same fun things too some day. He is our little man, and oh how grateful we are for him! We love and miss him soooooooo much! Doesn't he just look like he has an old soul for that sweet little body? :)

Photo: Why does my baby look like a toddler!
Good night dear friends! 

"Grandma always made you feel she had been waiting to see just you all day and now the day was complete."  ~Marcy DeMaree
 " It is as grandmothers that our mothers come into the fullness of their grace."  ~Christopher Morley

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

"Love is the emblem of eternity, it confounds all notion of time, effaces all memory of a beginning, all fear of an end".
Quoted by: Germaine De Stael

Happy Anniversary!

Today, or I should say yesterday was Jeff and I's 30th Wedding Anniversary. We spent the morning together, and then I went to work for 8 hours and then back out together for a few more hours. I am pretty tired so I think I would do my post justice IF I did it tomorrow. Good night dear friends!
Pinned Image

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bad luck!

   "If it weren't for bad luck, you wouldn't have any" This is what my Grandmother used to say when something bad happened to me. I used to think, oh that's not true. But some how after the last couple of days... I am beginning to think she knew what she was talking about!
    Last night I had a dream that someone was trying to fix me up with this guy. Now I didn't know who he was but I wasn't really attracted to him. But I had this really bad tooth ache and everyone told me that I should date him because some day he was going to be a dentist. I still didn't agree with them. I woke up shortly after that announcement. I was so relieved to be awake and figured I probably didn't really have a tooth ache but just a bad dream. So I went back to sleep. I went right back into the same dream. This time in the dream the guy asked me to marry him, I said absolutely not. I wasn't attracted to him and besides my tooth was hurting really bad again. Still, my friends said "he is a dentist now, you better marry him if you want to get that tooth fixed". So I finally consented, after we got married, he kissed me and I woke up. Never so glad to realize I was in a bad dream, the only bad news is the tooth ache was real and throbbing so bad that I couldn't go back to sleep. I have the craziest dreams....Jeff always tells me that I shouldn't tell anyone about them, because they may turn me in! I do have crazy and vivid dreams, they some times feel so real that I can't tell if I am awake or asleep. I was so hoping this time that I was just dreaming about the tooth pain, but it was real!
Right after the accident occurred, I came home and laid down. I was very light headed. I had pain in my neck and back and my jaws and face hurt ( as if I was getting a sinus infection or something, that type of pain in my face. When I went to the Dentist today, I told them about how my face hurt and had tingling feelings all over it after the accident. The Dentist said it was my upper tooth that had a very big filling it in last year and then a crown. He wasn't sure if the accident aggravated that tooth or not,  and now I might have to had a root canal! I couldn't believe it, I had been doing so well physically too, how does this happen? So I am going to take some medicine and pray hard that I can at least sleep tonight and maybe, just maybe this tooth ache will go away before tomorrow, I hope I don't have to get married again!:)

"Adversity introduces a man to himself." --Unknown

" Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you respond to it."—Unknown

 "The world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it." --Helen Keller

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chocolate vs vegetables?

First of all let me say, that today I am feeling much better. My neck and back are still sore but I am making sure to keep my anti-inflammatory meds in me, and ice on my neck when I can. I am very grateful that it wasn't any worse than that and in a day or so... I will head to my Physical Therapist who is a spine specialist and have her check everything out. She had just told me last week how well I was doing after being with her for a year and a half, and we were now only scheduling appointments on a need to basis! Now I believe we will be seeing each other a bit more regular again! Oh well, like I could have been worse, so I am counting my blessing.
After work today, I went to the store and while in there a lady in line spoke to me. Now that isn't unusual, I talk to everybody when I am in the store, but she started the conversation. She checked out when I did, and as we walked outside she began to tell me how nice I looked and then asked me if I have ever had healthy chocolates? I mentioned to her that I had been on Weight Watcher for 3 months and just hit my goal, and that I don't eat a lot of sweets at all. She then gave me her card and some chocolate and explained the type of chocolate it was and how many anti-oxidants it had in it. She also mentioned that she had recently lost 40 pounds just eating these chocolates! As I mentioned that I knew the importance of anti-oxidants but that I don't really eat a lot of chocolate, she then told me that you could eat just a few of these pieces of chocolates and they had more anti-oxidants than eating 20 vegetables. ( I had to laugh, for those of you who know me, I really like vegetables and actually way more than treats...yes even chocolates! So of all the people she could have maybe sold that chocolate to, too bad she ran into me.)
I guess I have always believed in the old saying..."NOTHING IS FREE IN LIFE" I don't want to eat chocolate instead of my vegetables and I don't want to lose weight just eating chocolate and not healthy foods and exercising. I am not saying the product isn't good, I just don't like anything that tells you don't have to exercise or change any habits ...just take this and it will magically make the pounds melt away!

Anyway, I am grateful that I have finally reached my goal and really hope I can continue this way of life. I feel better, like the idea that my clothes are now big on me instead of tight. Most of all I like how I feel about myself, that is a big one for me. That is one of my greatest trials in life, loving and accepting myself. Having my weigh down, literally helps me be more self confident and enjoying life more. So was it worth it? Absolutely yes! It is a healthy way of life and I am great for Weight Watchers and the program that taught that to me, life is much better. Now that is sweet!

"When you get to a plateau, think of it as a landing on the stairway to your goal. And maintenance is a lifelong plateau, so a bit of "rehearsal" for maintenance isn't the worst thing in the world." 

 "Your past does not equal, nor does it dictate, your future."
"One definition of insanity is: Doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result." 

 "We can reverse years of damage to our bodies by deciding to raise our standards for ourselves, then living differently. Old wounds heal, injuries repair, and the whole system improves with just a few changes in what we put into our bodies and how we move them."

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pretty sore!

Today I was rear ended today while driving home from the quilt shop. I got whiplash, and so I am in a lot of pain. But lucky for me, my daughter sent me this very motivational Youtube video so... if you want a bit of inspiration tonight, and something that will leave you smiling, then check it out here:
 Good night dear friends!

"I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances."
- Martha Washington
 “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, June 18, 2012

5 regrets of the dying

This was such an interesting article...
The link for it is   here:
It tells you what dying people's regrets are. It is an article written by a nurse who works with people in the last few weeks of their lives. Like Hospice I guess. I still can remember the Hospice workers that were there for my Mom, what ANGELS they were. So this article was interesting for me, and I believe the regrets are true for most people. Take a moment to read it, and hopefully it will be a reminder to us all of what really is important! What a great thing to read now, when we AREN'T dying!
The top five regrets of the dying
Good night dear friends!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day 2012

Here is our family photo... if you are wondering why Lee's arm is like that, it is because our daughter Lauren is away at college but we are hoping that she can photoshop herself in so we are all together! We are missing her a lot! When I look at this photo and the one's of John and Brad now as Fathers, I realized that my dream has gotten even better. The next generation and the next...are now being blessed because of the example their Dad has set. Thanks for being such an incredible Dad Jeff, we love ya!
Happy Father's Day to all and good night dear friends!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Baby Steps

What a wonderful week this has been. As I mentioned our son, daughter-in-law and new little grandson came to visit for four SHORT days! It was hard to see how much Kai had grown in over a month, since I last saw him. He now can smile at you, imitate some of the sounds you make, he recognizes Mom and Dad right away, but he was doing that last month too. He has gotten so much taller, he is alert and grabbing at his toys, it is amazing to witness those little Baby Steps that he is making. Hard to know that we won't be able to be there for many of them but... we are so grateful he is apart of our family and the love that we feel for hard to put into words.

I of course cried when they left this morning, I miss my son Brad. It is amazing to watch him become a Father and Husband. He really is doing a great job already! Always a treat to be with Krystal, I am so grateful that she is a permanent part of our family, we love her dearly. And to watch what a great Mom she has become is comforting to me as a Grandmother ( Nana )! I am sorry they live so far away but realize we need to make sure that we continue to make time to keep getting together, that is what family is all about.
It was hard not having Lauren with us. We had all the kids but her together, we missed her so much. She is in the middle of her semester at college and so that is why she couldn't be here with us. We got to Skype with her and that was fun, sorta helped us to still have her with us and be a part of our family gathering.
Well, I took some Baby Step myself today. I went to the High School Swimming Pool today and got back into the water to do laps. It has been about 10 years since I have swam in that pool. When I used to be there I had worked my ability up to a mile a day. Well, I had to remember to take Baby Steps. I did 8 laps ( one lap is up and back ) today and that was really hard. There were a few moments when I thought I was going to drown but...then I got my composure and kept going. Funny that after finally learning to swim when I was 40 and working myself up to swimming a mile, I don't think there was ever a day that at one point I didn't get scared, panic or think that I might drown. It is hard when a fear is ingrained in you that much. Still I knew that at least I could remember how to swim, because I did it last week at the motel pools ( where the laps are 1/4 of what I did today. I was wondering about my prosthetic and how it would hold up today when I was swimming for longer periods of time, but it did pretty well. It moved some but probably no one noticed it but me. I knew that I was out of shape and I got a bit discouraged at first and then I thought... least I did it. Now the true test is can I get up early at least 3-4 times a week and do it again? I will!
Well, Jeff and I didn't do our Date Night last night so I am going to go spend the rest of the evening with him. 34 years ago on June 9th, he asked me out on my first date! Oh how glad I am that he did! I am crazy about that guy!
Good night dear friends!

If your baby is " beautiful and perfect, never cries or fusses, sleeps on schedule and burps on demand, an angel all the time"'re the grandma.   ~ Teresa Bloomindale

"When you were small
And just a touch away,

I covered you with blankets
Against the cool night air.
But now that you are tall
And out of reach, 
I fold my hands
And cover you with prayer. ~ Dona Maddux Cooper

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Faith is an action word!

 How grateful I am to my daughter Lauren, who sent me these parables. She knew that my time would be busy visiting with our new little grandson and family. Having these inspiring and motivational parables were just what I needed the last couple of days. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did! 
Good night dear friends!

The Parable of the Owl Express

During my college days, I was one of a class of students appointed to fieldwork as a part of our prescribed courses in geology—the science that deals with the earth in all of its varied aspects and phases, but more particularly with its component rocks, the structural features they present, the changes they have undergone and are undergoing—the science of worlds.
A certain assignment had kept us in the field many days. We had traversed, examined, and charted miles of lowlands and uplands, valleys and hills, mountain heights and canyon defiles. As the time allotted to the investigation drew near its close, we were overtaken by a violent windstorm, followed by a heavy snow—unseasonable and unexpected, but which, nevertheless, increased in intensity so that we were in danger of being snowbound in the hills. The storm reached its height while we were descending a long and steep mountainside several miles from the little railway station at which we had hoped to take [a] train that night for home. With great effort we reached the station late at night while the storm was yet raging. We were suffering from the intense cold incident to biting wind and driving snow; and, to add to our discomfiture, we learned that the expected train had been stopped by snowdrifts a few miles from the little station at which we waited.
… The train for which we so expectantly and hopefully waited was the Owl Express—a fast night train connecting large cities. Its time schedule permitted stops at but few and these the most important stations; but, as we knew, it had to stop at this out-of-the-way post to replenish the water supply of the locomotive.
Long after midnight the train arrived in a terrific whirl of wind and snow. I lingered behind my companions as they hurriedly clambered aboard, for I was attracted by the engineer, who during the brief stop, while his assistant was attending to the water replenishment, bustled about the engine, oiling some parts, adjusting others, and generally overhauling the panting locomotive. I ventured to speak to him, busy though he was. I asked how he felt on such a night—wild, weird, and furious, when the powers of destruction seemed to be let loose, abroad and uncontrolled, when the storm was howling and when danger threatened from every side. I thought of the possibility—the probability even—of snowdrifts or slides on the track, of bridges and high trestles which may have been loosened by the storm, of rock masses dislodged from the mountainside—of these and other possible obstacles. I realized that in the event of accident through obstruction on or disruption of the track, the engineer and the fireman would be the ones most exposed to danger; a violent collision would most likely cost them their lives. All of these thoughts and others I expressed in hasty questioning of the bustling, impatient engineer.
His answer was a lesson not yet forgotten. In effect he said, though in jerky and disjointed sentences: “Look at the engine headlight. Doesn’t that light up the track for a hundred yards [90 m] or more? Well, all I try to do is to cover that hundred yards of lighted track. That I can see, and for that distance I know the roadbed is open and safe. And,” he added, with what, through the swirl and the dim lamplighted darkness of the roaring night, I saw was a humorous smile on his lips and a merry twinkle of his eye, “believe me, I have never been able to drive this old engine of mine—God bless her!—so fast as to outstrip that hundred yards of lighted track. The light of the engine is always ahead of me!”
As he climbed to his place in the cab, I hastened to board the first passenger coach; and as I sank into the cushioned seat, in blissful enjoyment of the warmth and general comfort, offering strong contrast to the wildness of the night without, I thought deeply of the words of the grimy, oil-stained engineer. They were full of faith—the faith that accomplishes great things, the faith that gives courage and determination, the faith that leads to works. What if the engineer had failed, had yielded to fright and fear, had refused to go on because of the threatening dangers? Who knows what work may have been hindered, what great plans may have been nullified, what God-appointed commissions of mercy and relief may have been thwarted had the engineer weakened and quailed?
For a little distance the storm-swept track was lighted up; for that short space the engineer drove on!
We may not know what lies ahead of us in the future years, nor even in the days or hours immediately beyond. But for a few yards, or possibly only a few feet, the track is clear, our duty is plain, our course is illumined. For that short distance, for the next step, lighted by the inspiration of God, go on!
She found the story here:
"Let your faith be bigger than your fear"
"Nothing is impossible, the word itself says " I'm Possible"  ~ Audrey Hepburn

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Parable of the Treasure Vault

 I love this parable. Enjoy and good night dear friends!

 What is the worth of a soul? It’s priceless and must be kept safe.

The Parable of the Treasure Vault

Among the news items of recent date was the report of a burglary, some incidents of which are unusual in the literature of crime. The safety-vault of a wholesale house dealing in jewelry and gems was the object of the attack. From the care and skill with which the two robbers had lain their plans, it was evident that they were adept in their nefarious business.
They contrived to secrete themselves within the building and were locked in when the heavily barred doors were closed for the night. They knew that the great vault of steel and masonry was of the best construction and of the kind guaranteed as burglar-proof; they knew also that it contained treasure of enormous value; and they relied for success on their patience, persistency, and craft, which had been developed through many previous, though lesser, exploits in safe-breaking. Their equipment was complete, comprising of drills, saws, and other tools, tempered to penetrate even the hardened steel of the massive door, through which alone entrance to the vault could be effected. Armed guards were stationed in the corridors of the establishment, and the approaches to the strong room were diligently watched.
Through the long night the thieves labored, drilling and sawing around the lock, whose complicated mechanism could not be manipulated even by one familiar with the combination, before the hour for which the time-control had been set. They had calculated that by persistent work they would have time during the night to break open the safe and secure such of the valuables as they could carry; then they would trust to luck, daring, or force to make their escape. They would not hesitate to kill if they were opposed. Though the difficulties of the undertaking were greater than expected, the skilled criminals succeeded with tools and explosives in reaching the interior of the lock; then they threw back the bolts and forced open the ponderous doors.
What saw they within? Drawers filled with gems, trays of diamonds, rubies, and pearls, think you? Such and more they had confidently expected to find and to secure; but instead they encountered an inner safe, with a door heavier and more resistant than the first, fitted with a mechanical lock of more intricate construction than that at which they had worked so strenuously. The metal of the second door was of such superior quality as to splinter their finely tempered tools; try as they would they could not so much as scratch it. Their misdirected energy was wasted; frustrated were all their infamous plans.
Like unto one’s reputation is the outer door of the treasure-vault; like unto his character is the inner portal. A good name is a strong defense, but though it be assailed and even marred or broken, the soul it guards is safe, provided only the inner character be impregnable. ~ James E. Talmage The Parable of the Treasure Vault (1862 -1933 )

"The essential thing is not knowledge, but character."
Joseph Le Conte

"Who you are speaks so loudly I can't hear what you're saying."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Goals must be SMART!

Well, I apologize for ditching my blog last night. For Family Home Evening we worked on the front and back yard, and man was I tired and hurting. I knew I had to head straight to bed or I would be paying for it this morning. I still sorta am.
The reason we are trying to get everything done is because our son Brad, his wife Krystal and our new grandson Kai are coming to visit for FOUR days and we are... sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo excited. I can't wait to hold my little guy again, I have really missed him. So of course I want my house to look, feel and smell like home!
I have finally been setting and accomplishing some goals and it feels great! I haven't been as specific in the past about my goals and I think like it said below... it is because I just didn't pin myself down and set a date. I am actually feeling so much better, glad that I am finally getting more disciplined. It really is a better way to live! Have a great day!

 Goals must be SMART:

1. S--specific. For example, "I want to lose weight." This is wishful thinking. It becomes a goal when I pin myself down to "I will lose 10 pounds in 90 days."

2. M--must be measurable. If we cannot measure it, we cannot accomplish it. Measurement is a way of monitoring our progress.

3. A--must be achievable. Achievable means that it should be out of reach enough to be challenging but it should not be out of sight, otherwise it becomes disheartening.

4. R--realistic. A person who wants to lose 50 pounds in~30 days is being unrealistic.

5. T--time-bound. There should be a starting date and a finishing date.

 "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. "  ~C. S. Lewis
"Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.   ~Eleanor Roosevelt

"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal."
  ~Henry Ford

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Day 11 and 12

Not sure why I can't get this wording to go to the top but until I can figure it out... this is the best I can do. The first photo is of Colorado and the second photo is Shirley and I just before leaving the wonderful motel we had for our last day. We had a great breakfast and are now on our way from Grand Junction, Colorado to Lehi, Utah. It is only 4.5 hours away, so this should be a piece of cake. ( or I should say a piece of fruit...that's legal :)
Third photo is of Shirley showing off that she has a few more of her almonds left, I ate mine too fast...didn't savor them like I should have. Shirley said,  "Lynn, I just want you to know that there is no one else in the world who would travel across the US with you eating only, veggies and hummus, seaweed and fruit". That's probably true!  She and I did our Weight Watchers the whole way, I am praying that she lost weight, so she won't kill me for counting our all of our food and keep track of our points each day! :) Hey, we had black licorice for a treat...I don't know what she is complaining about? 
Then the next photo is the beautiful scenery of Utah, going through the Spanish Fork canyons. Then of course here we all in the last photo of Shirley and I showing you that we made it  home safe, from our 12 day across the United States Road Trip 2012... it was full of laughter, fun and a lot of Sister/Best Friend bonding time. Thank you Shirley for asking me to was well worth it! I think doing anything with the ones you love, makes life worth it.
Day 12...I am sitting in the airport waiting for my flight to leave. Since I have been here I have watched the departure boards tell me 4 times that my flight is delayed again and again! I was so hoping to see my granddaughters tonight when they were going to pick me up with Jeff. Oh well, I still have 3 hours to just sit back, relax, read, crochet and make a couple of new friends! I guess things could be worse. Thanks for following our road trip with us, it really was a trip to remember! Now that I think of it, wasn't I waiting 3 hours on my way to Salt Lake? I am starting to see a pattern here! Good night dear friends!

" Friendship isn't a big thing - it's a million little things."  ~Author Unknown

"What is a friend?  A single soul dwelling in two bodies."  ~Aristotle

"I like her because she smiles at me and means it. " ~Anonymous

Friday, June 8, 2012

Day Ten

OK, who ever said that we couldn't drive more than 5 hours a day was wrong. We did 8 hours today and now we are wiped out! The first part of the trip from Kansas was pretty flat, dry and a bit boring.

But as we headed toward Colorado, the scenery got a lot better. We were thrilled as we headed to Denver that there were only a few clouds in the sky, no signs of tornadoes or storms. All clear sky's and beautiful.

We passed Vail, Colorado Ski Lodge ( had a little near death experience there quiet a few years ago... but I don't go into that now!)
 We finally made it to Grand Junction, Colorado. I lived here when I was 19 years old. I lived with my brother, his wife and their 2 kids on their families Dairy Farm. Since I had worked with pre-school handicapped children and one of my nieces was struggling with Cerebral Palsy, I was coming to help out with her physical therapy ( she was only 2 years old ). To get some extra money I worked part time at a Veterinarian's office. I basically just stuffed pills and filled orders that came in. I should have realized when the office was in some one's basement, that it wasn't quite on the up and up. Many of the orders were for people who did Cock fighting, I didn't know that it was illegal. Jeff always says... yeah right! 
So tonight I was worried when we drove in here and had dinner that some how, some way that my shady background would some how catch up with me! : )
So this is our last night in a hotel, we are staying at the Marriott, decided we should go out in style. We decided not to bring in our cooler or our 2 big red baskets, that would look too tacky for this nice motel! I personally thought we mine as well, we looked pretty trashed by the time we have been riding in the car for 8 hours anyway.
 Here is Shirley relaxing on our polka dot couch. We are going to watch a movie, swim and then sleep in ... it is our last day, our destination is only 4.5 hours away tomorrow... and then we start reality again! What a fun road trip this has been! Good night dear friends, wish you all could have come on this fun trip with us!
 Remember that happiness is a way of travel -- not a destination

 All of life is a journey which paths we take, what we look back on, and what we look forward to is up to us. We determine our destination, what kind of road we will take to get there, and how happy we are when we get there.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Day Nine

We got up a bit early and started off from Topeka, Kansas today. Our goal was to make it into Denver, Colorado, but that didn't quite work out... so we ended up in Colby, Kansas just about 1 1/2 hours from Denver because when we checked the weather of Denver it didn't look good. Last night they had 8 inches of hail and even a tornado touched down there. They were Tornado warnings and they were predicting high winds and more storms for this evening. My brother called and suggested that we stay in a town closer, instead of driving onto Denver. So we ended up here in Colby, Kansas. We were glad to be in a place that was safe for the night. The trip was not real exciting but still beautiful non the less. Lots of wheat, windmills, farms and farms and farms. Here are a few photos to show you the beautiful landscape of Kansas.
As we tried to get our stuff out of the car,  the clouds and winds were coming in fast and hard. I think the winds are something  normal here in Kansas. I can't imagine living in such winds. I told Shirley that I don't like the winds and the storms. It reminded me of the movie The Wizard of Oz, we had everything here except the witch riding a bike with Toto in the basket!  :) Here we are trying to get out stuff out of the car, it was crazy. Once we got everything in safe and  sound, we headed out to a clothing store and just tried on clothes for a couple of hours, it was soooo much fun.Last but not least ...we went to dinner, then came back to the hotel and I got my swimming in. We will get up in the morning and see if we can make it a bit further then we did today. I just have to be home by Sunday, that is when my flight goes back to Seattle!  I am sure we will make it by then!
Good night dear friends!
“the most important reason for going from one place to another is to see what's in between, and they took great pleasure in doing just that.”
Norton Juster

“It's funny how, in this journey of life, even though we may begin at different times and places, our paths cross with others so that we may share our love, compassion, observations, and hope. This is a design of God that I appreciate and cherish.”
Steve Maraboli

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Day Eight


Today we left Columbia, Indiana today and stopped by Independence, Missouri till we stopped again. There is a quite a bit of history in that town. After a couple of hours there then we got back on the road and headed to Topeka, Kansas.
 It was another beautiful day and so we were so grateful that the weather has been so nice.

 The car is packed so there isn't really any extra room. Funny because when we came started on this trip Shirley said that she was going to teach me how to pack lighter, but let me show you what we put on the cart and pull in and out of our room every day. Sorta thinking that maybe I have corrupted her. I have never been a very good packer, ok...I said it! But I do have other good qualities! :)

Speaking of what issues or problems people have...I found this wonderful article! Hope you enjoy it!
Good night dear friends!

 Would you trade your life's packet of problems?

It’s been 30 years since one of the more memorable Sunday School lessons of my life. I was a boy sitting in the middle of a half-dozen other gawky kids learning about the gospel.
I don't remember where the lesson was supposed to fly, but I do remember where it landed. We had a surprisingly mature discussion with our teacher about something we dubbed our “packet of problems.”
We wondered: What if we were handed a packet of problems before this life? We thought of it as a spiritual envelope containing challenges we would later face during our mortal lives. Naturally, no two packets would be alike and we wouldn’t know the actual contents until the hour came to tackle them. But despite the unknown, perhaps we all agreed to bring our packet with us because we were promised the contents would never amount to more than we could bear.
I’ve thought of this many times through the years, and, even though I know it’s an invention of man and not some literal process, the notion has become a soft blanket during the hard times of my life.
Exactly one year ago, I set out to write a column on this topic. Using email, Facebook and my website, I issued a call for friends and readers to share — anonymously — their packets of problems. I was curious to know what challenges people were facing and how they were viewed.
Do we want to trade packets with others? Do we sometimes think our packet is packed with insurmountable problems while the neighbor’s is empty?
The responses were overwhelming, both emotionally and in sheer volume. I was so overcome by the stories that I shelved the column.
Now, with fresh eyes, I see that most respondents had remarkably positive attitudes about what they’d found in their packets, and almost all were beyond the roughest waters. Also, the responses came from people we probably know: neighbors, distant cousins or old college roommates we haven't connected with in far too long.
A sad number of the packets included divorce. One woman wrote, “I recently found out that my husband of two years has been cheating on me, and that he was cheating when I was pregnant with our now 9-month-old daughter. I now live with my parents and (seven) younger siblings and my husband and I are going through a divorce.”
Though her words are aching, her closing sentence gave a glimpse of a hopeful soul: “Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about my life, I have even more blessings.”
A father wrote about opening his packet of problems and finding that he would watch one of his children die, be accused of a crime he did not commit and be the victim of four layoffs in six years. The last job loss left him teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.
Would you trade your packet with him?
A wife described the night she discovered her husband had a pornography addiction. She later learned it stemmed from years of abuse at the hands of an older sibling. As he fought his demons, they lost their home, vehicles and jobs. Ending her email, she feared her packet was far from empty. But quite beautifully, she also wanted me to know she still has faith in Jesus Christ.
I’ve thought of these good people and their packets of problems almost everyday since my survey first began. I’ve considered how many times in my own life I’ve looked across the street or down the pew and wished I could have traded my packet for another’s. What a selfish thought!
My own packet contains challenges that are uniquely mine. They were crafted by the loving and perfect hands of a Heavenly Father who knows how to turn my weaknesses into strengths. Doesn’t he also know my limits and my potential?
Doesn’t he also know yours?
I know it’s not always easy, but I also know I should be grateful for my own tests and give thanks that he loves me enough to challenge and refine me. I should be faithful enough to know that the trials are blessings meant to better prepare me for what awaits in this life and the next.
What about you? Would you trade your life's “packet of problems" with your neighbor?
You can find the articlell here:

We have no right to ask when sorrow comes, "Why did this happen to me?" unless we ask the same question for every moment of happiness that comes our way.  ~Author Unknown

A bend in the road is not the end of the road... unless you fail to make the turn.  ~Author Unknown

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Day Seven

Today we started off late because we got up so late. We for some reason we both felt more tired than normal, so we took it slow today. We only made it to Columbia Missouri, not too far. The nice thing is...we aren't on any time schedule so we just made one stop, to at a very nice Antique shop and then decided after a couple more hours to just stop, go eat dinner and then we went back to our hotel and just sat back relaxed and watched a movie. I of course crocheted while I watched the movie. So today was a bit uneventful but still very nice and relaxing.  It is a bit hard to not feel guilty... doing nothing... when you are a wife, Mother, sister and is a bit busier than this, that is for sure!.
  I found this sweet story tonight and I think I even used it before a long time ago... but I loved how sweet it was. I love my family, I am always amazed at how powerful and important that type of love can be in a family. Ok...P. S. I am a little bit homesick! Having a great time but...missing my crew! Shhh...don't tell anyone! :)

Like any good mother, when Karen found out that another baby was on the way, she did what she could to help her 3-year-old son, Michael, prepare for a new sibling. They find out that the new baby is going to be a girl, and day after day, night after night, Michael sings to his sister in Mommy's tummy.
The pregnancy progresses normally for Karen, an active member of the Panther Creek United Methodist Church in Morristown, Tennessee. Then The labor pains come. Every five minutes ... every minute. But Complications arise during delivery. Hours of labor. Would a C-section be required? Finally, Michael's little sister is born. But she is in serious condition. With siren howling in the night, the ambulance rushes the infant to the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Mary's Hospital,Knoxville, Tennessee.
The days inch by. The little girl gets worse. The pediatric specialist tells the parents, "There is very little hope. Be prepared for the worst." Karen and her husband contact a local cemetery about a burial plot. They have fixed up a special room in their home for the new baby - now they plan a funeral.
Michael, keeps begging his parents to let him see his sister, "I want to sing to her," he says. Week two in intensive care. It looks as if a funeral will come before the week is over. Michael keeps nagging about singing to his sister, but kids are never allowed in Intensive Care. But Karen makes up her mind. She will take Michael whether they like it or not. If
he doesn't see his sister now, he may never see her alive. She dresses him in an oversized scrub suit and marches him into ICU. He looks like a walking laundry basket, but the head nurse recognizes him as a child and bellows, "Get that kid out of here now! No children are allowed. The mother rises up strong in Karen, and the usually mild-mannered lady glaressteel-eyed into the head nurse's face, her lips a firm line. "He is not leaving
until he sings to his sister!" Karen tows Michael to his sister's bedside. He gazes at the tiny infant losing the battle to live. And he begins to sing. In the pure hearted voice of a 3-year-old, Michael sings:
"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray --- "
Instantly the baby girl responds. The pulse rate becomes calm and steady.
Keep on singing, Michael. "You never know, dear, how much I love you, Please don't take my sunshine away---" The ragged, strained breathing becomes as smooth as a kitten's purr.
Keep on singing, Michael. "The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping, I dreamed I held you in my arms..." Michael's little sister relaxes as rest, healing rest, seems to sweep over her.
Keep on singing, Michael. Tears conquer the face of the bossy head nurse. Karen glows. "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. Please don't, take my sunshine away."
Funeral plans are scrapped. The next, day-the very next day-the little girl is well enough to go home!
Woman's Day magazine called it "the miracle of a brother's song." The medical staff just called it a miracle. Karen called it a miracle of God's love!
Found this sweet story here:

 The love of a family is life's greatest blessing

"A family in harmony will prosper in everything."