Friday, May 31, 2013

Childhood a time of great imagination!

Funny when I had 3 little granddaughters, I thought for some reason we would do lots of parties and tea parties with cute dolls, but for some reasons my sweet red heads seem to like animals, monsters and now Dinosaurs at all of our tea parties and play time. They can name every dinosaur there is...and they are offended when I call one by the wrong name. Good news is their cousin Kai, when he comes to visit will probably love having all those dinosaurs every where.
Fun, wonder what the next few years will bring with these cute grand kids of mine. For the mean time though, at least Lauren got a fun photo of Jenny in her Dinosaur suit...will be a great reminder in their Memory Book some time.  Now it is up to you, to tell me if my little triceartop endangered or dangerous?:) Thanks, Lauren for the fun photo!
PLEASE! good Lord, there is nothing hard about smiling or saying hi back. My daughters love to have someone reply to them- it makes their day. When you don't, I explain to them that there are mean people in the world, but that they should STILL keep on smiling - you never know when it's what a person needs. Despite the aholes in the world, i'll still teach my girls to be good!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

You make me smile!

How could it be 30 years since this beautiful girl came into the world? I was almost 24 years old, and even though I had done a lot of babysitting in my life...I had no idea how to be a MOM. My pregnancy seemed to go on and on forever. She came 10 days late, and after hours of difficult labor...I wasn't progressing at all and so they figured the baby was just too big. Having never been in the hospital overnight or for any surgeries...I was scared to death when the Doctor suggested that we would probably have to do a C-section. They put me under for the surgery, and all I can remember is that Jeff and the nurses kept trying to wake me up from the best sleep I had ever had, and they kept saying "Amy is here, and she weighed 10lbs and 1oz. I thought to myself...yeah right. Then they placed this beautiful dark hair, big girl in my arms.
Along with Motherhood sometimes comes the WORRY part of your heart. I worried if I knew what each cry meant, it didn't seem to be something that I knew right away. I wondered if most Mother's got the handbook ( that everyone thinks comes automatically when you become a Mother ), but since I had a C-section, maybe someone forgot to give me mine. But when Amy cried, everyone including Jeff would always ask me what was wrong with her?  I remember thinking to myself, "I have no idea, no one gave me the handbook!"
Some of you might ask when I finally figured out what she was crying about or needed? Well, I don't remember the exact day, but gradually, after a lot of prayer and tears... I slowly and instinctively knew what she needed. And each child after that just got easier and quicker to learn about. So yes, Motherhood is a life long process and the prayers and tears never really end. You pray for their safety, you pray that the world will be kind to them, you pray for good friends for them, you pray for them to make the right choices and on and on. The tears come with each success, whether it is a first step, a new tooth, being potty trained and some tears come with skinned knees, broken hearts and leaving home for the first time. So yes, the heart has to really be in shape to handle being a Mother.
Amy continues to be our happy child, even though she is a grown woman. It is rare to see her down, she makes almost anything in life more fun with her laughter and her smile. She like the other kids when they grew up, became our friends too...what a blessing that has been. So grateful Amy came into our family30 years ago today, and even though I still have the scar to prove it...we wouldn't  trade her for the world!
Happy Birthday Amy Girl! You make me smile!

Art In my daughters eyes,I am a hero, I am strong and wise, And I know no fear, But the truth is plain to see, She was sent to rescue me, I see who I want to be, In my daughters eyes.  ~ song by Martina McBride, quote, quotes about daughters quotes about moms and daughters daughter-quotesSo true-wish everyone felt this way about their mother, so blessed to have mine.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

One Amazing Lady!

I read today in the Costco Connections magazine, an article about a lady named Temple Grandin. She is a Doctor of animal science and professor at Colorado State University, a best -selling author, the subject of an Emmy Award -winning HBO biopic, a much -in-demand public speaker and a consultant to the livestock industry on farm animal behavior. She also has autism.
You can learn more about the movie here:  You can read about some of it below too.
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 Staring Claire Danes, Julia Ormond, Catherine O'Hara and David Strathairn Temple Grandin paints a picture of a young woman's perseverance and determination while struggling with the isolating challenges of autism at a time when it was still quite unknown. The film chronicles Temple's early diagnosis; her turbulent growth and development during her school years; the enduring support she received from her mother (Ormond), aunt (O'Hara) and her science teacher (Strathairn); and her emergence as a woman with an innate sensitivity and understanding of animal behavior.
Undaunted by education, social and professional roadblocks, Grandin turned her unique talent into a behavioral tool that revolutionized the cattle industry and laid the groundwork for her successful career as an author, lecturer and pioneering advocate for autism and autism spectrum disorder education.
This visually inventive film offers insights into Grandin's world, taking the audience inside her mind with a series of snapshot images that trace her self-perceptions and journey from childhood through young adulthood to the beginning of her career, and beyond.

I think the thing that really touched me was about her upbringing. When she was little in the 1950's, she did not speak until the age of 4- but benefited from the structure provided by her mother and school administrators.  ( Her father recommended she be institutionalized, but her Mother refused.) It was at an Aunt's cattle ranch in Arizona one summer, during her teens, that Grandin first became connected to horses and cattle and discovered a shared characteristic between animals and those with autism. Both think by making visual associations.  "Temple Grandin has helped all of us understand the power of different ways of thinking and being, " adds CSU President Tony Frank.  She had to figure out how people behave in order to modulate her own behavior accordingly, and that's the behavior that makes her work on behalf of people with autism possible.

She goes on in the article to talk about all the people who come to hear her speak, she said " A lot of people who come to the events- I estimate 75-80 percent of them- are probably interested in Autism. One thing I am getting concerned about is I'm seeing too many kids who are considered mildly autistic come up to me and all they want to talk about is their autism. I'd rather have them tell me about their science project or how they are training dogs or that they are in the 4-H or they like to write science fiction. Tell me about what you like to do! Autism would totally take over if I let it, but I am not going to let it."

Anyway, what an amazing story of an amazing lady.
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sleep verses Cleaning!

Woke up really early this morning because I was hurting and just couldn't go back to sleep. My arm has started swelling again, I have been wearing my compression sleeve every day and doing my lymphatic draining each day too, but still it isn't going away. The pain feels like it is a bad ache all the way to my bone in my upper arm. Days like this make me frustrated that the Doctor took so many, if not all of my lymph nodes out. I know that is just what they did years ago when they were treating cancer patients. But I was a swimmer at the time and specifically asked not to have many taken out...just for reasons such as this. It has been 5 years and I have had to deal with this the whole time. That is very frustrating. Good news is, I think now they try to leave as many nodes as they can, so maybe there won't be so many women suffering from Lymphodemia as much. We can only hope.
I decided since I couldn't sleep to just get up and clean, that didn't make my arm feel better at all but...I was glad to have a cleaner house. I am still struggling with a decision I have to make and that too ( along with the pain ) was keeping me from sleeping. Why do I let things go so long, before I stand up for myself? I know better than to stay in a situation when there is bad energy there, I can't afford to have that. Negative energy is bad not only for your health, but for your heart and your soul.
Today as I cleaned, I think I came up with ways to fix my situation, but they aren't going to be easy or pleasant, that is what I don't like. Oh well, need to head to bed and see if tonight will be kinder to me.
Good night dear friends!

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day / Jeff's Birthday!

As we celebrated Jeff's birthday today with Amy, John and the girls.
I was touched when at the prayer for lunch, Amy talked about the gratitude we had for those who have fought and continue to fight for our freedom. For the service they have given to each of us and our country. It made me feel good to realize that my kids know it is much more than just a 3 day weekend. And that they in turn are teaching these important things to their kids ( the next generations ). My Dad served, my oldest brother Mike served and  many others including one of our nephews serving right now. Freedom is not free, and we are grateful every day for those who serve and have served...Thank you!

found photo here:
Watching Amy and Jeff celebrate their birthday together once more is sweet to see.  I feel blessed to have a family that always wants to be together, even if we can't.... that is what we wish. And that wish alone makes me happy and grateful!
I can still remember her sitting on her Daddy's knee for her 1st could so many years have passed that quickly. Now she is a Mother, with 3 little ones of her own.
My whole life I wanted to have a family who would be close and there for each other, no matter what...and that is exactly what I have! I am truly blessed.
Good night dear friends!
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Saturday, May 25, 2013


I go to the most amazing Massage Therapist and she is also a YOGA teacher. Someday I would like to get to the point where my body is able to do Yoga. I love the way it truly helps you focus on what you can accomplish, and also emphasizes that you take care of your soul. That means I have to keep my mind clear and everything quiet around me. When I do that then I can always tell what my body and soul needs.
 So many times we focus everything on our body and forget to take care of our soul or our spirit! That is important and when I forget to take care of my spirit then everything in my life seems to get out of balance easily.
 That is where I have been for a couple of weeks. I have focused so much on trying to stay out of pain, that I have neglected my spiritual side and I know better than that. There is so much to be happy and grateful for and yet, I struggle to see any of that when I am in pain or out out of balance.
So until that someday comes and I start doing Yoga, I can at least focus more on my soul/spirit...and I know that will make all the difference!
Good night dear friends!

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

A team member leaves us!

Another team member has gone ahead of us. This week a good friend passed away, after battling her Cancer for the past year. I tried to explain to others how it feels , if anyone you know or even a family member of someone you know gets they automatically become part of our team. I don't even have to know the person well, still there is a common thread that runs through us...and connects us some how.
 When a new member becomes part of the team, it saddens you... but you rush to their side to support and uplift them in any way. You also start talking strategy's with them, you discuss how they are going to fight their Cancer. You immediately start your Game Plan! And so it goes, throughout your time to be on  this team. You work together, you cry together, you pray together and you would do ANYTHING for your team members.
I didn't want to be on this team almost 12 years ago. But I realized soon that it was an amazing team to be on, and that the other team members who are still here, or those who have gone one...are literally ANGELS on earth and I feel proud to be part of a team, that had so many incredible people on it. So we will say good bye to this dear friend, and hello to many others...too many others. Still we will stick together, and truly do our best to make this life the best game we ever played!
Good night dear friends and fellow team mates!  

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hard choices!

I recently had to make a hard choice. One that I didn't want to make and yet...I knew if my kids would have come to me and talked about the same type of situation, I know what I would have said. I would have said, "it is time to walk away, keep things honest and simple when you do." I would remind them that they don't have to be any body but themselves, I would have reminded them that the most important thing is that they tried their best and had the right desires. And last, I would have reminded them to quit comparing themselves to Others ( that is unhealthy ).
I kept questioning myself, I kept thinking of all the scenerios of how it would play out if I did walk away. I really cared about the people who were involved ...but it just didn't work. I knew though, when I finally made the decision ...that even though there is anticipation of what others will think, that the negative energy was not healthy for me and it was time to make a choice. Life is all about decisions and choices, why are some so very hard to make?
Now the hard part comes, by holding up my head and knowing I made the right decision, and just start again somewhere else. Yes, life is wonderful most of the time... but every now and then it is really, really hard. Guess that is why the lesson from this, will be one I won't forget too soon. Still learning every day!

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

We have a work to do!

It is interesting to see how fast the world pulls together when we are in crisis. I loved this article by Jason Wright, it shares some insight into the work we have to do. It really made me stop and think about what I can do right now for those in need. Good night dear friends!

May 21, 2013

By now the world knows that on Monday, just before 3 p.m. local time, a massive tornado touched down near Oklahoma City. We've witnessed how it shredded the nearby suburb of Moore like a city made of wooden Tinker Toys. But with rescue workers still sifting through twisted steel and bare trees stripped of leaves and bark, there is so much more we do not know.
We know the tornado brought winds up to 200 mph and a funnel cloud and debris field two miles wide. But we do not know the total devastation to homes, businesses and schools.
We know that many people have died, but we do not know how high the death toll will rise.
We know that many of the victims were children, but we do not know their names, ages or whether they liked toy cars or action heroes, soccer or ballet, dolls or stuffed animals. Those tender details will come.
Like many of you, I've watched hours of the live coverage broadcast from mountains of rubble and rippled asphalt parking lots. Stories are emerging of friends, neighbors and strangers saving lives. A witness spoke of one good Samaritan pulling a dead woman and her infant child from a collapsed convenience store.
Good Samaritan, indeed.
As the anecdotes roll in, I wonder why it sometimes takes such tragedy for our hearts to fully engage with one another. Does it seem we're all a little kinder after school shootings, marathon bombings and natural disasters? Don't we love our fellowmen on the good days, too?
What else do we know?
We've seen recovery footage featuring volunteers climbing up and around dangerous piles of rubble that appear as if they might collapse like a Jenga tower. Their bravery reminds us that God could do this work if he wanted to, but he expects us to be his hands.
We know he could pull people from trapped cars, put out fires or carry a stranger's body from ruins to a resting place. No, he doesn't need our help - he wants it.
Heartbreak of this EF-4 magnitude tornado teaches us that our Father in heaven is a God of perfect miracles, but often the day-to-day heavenly miracles come through imperfect, earthly hands.
We know that tragedies only teach us if we allow ourselves to learn from them. Perhaps the tragedies of the past few months have reminded us that the best way to honor those who've lost their lives is to be more kind, more patient and more loving.
The new angels with Oklahoma accents would want you to hold your wife a bit longer, to kiss your husband goodbye, to hug your kids until they squirm away and to call your mother just a little more often.
In coming days we will ask the wind in quiet whispers just how we can join the work. Specific opportunities will certainly arise to donate time, money and, for some, expertise. But there's no need to wait for an invitation.
Because when you spend time on your knees on behalf of Oklahoma, you're doing God's work.
Because when you shed a tear for victims you've never met or weep openly for a mother who will never again tuck in her little one, you're doing God's work.
Perhaps we already know more than we realize about this devastating tornado. Recovery in all its forms is truly God's work, and there's plenty of it to do.
Let's get started.
Read more of Jason's articles

"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another." ~ Charles Dickens

Monday, May 20, 2013

What should I really be doing today?

I heard a wonderful talk in church yesterday. Here are some of the the notes that I wanted to remember from about this subject...which was Doing What God Would Want Us To Do Each Day!  I think that it is easy to get so busy with all my To Do List every day, and even easier to forget to ask my Heavenly Father what He wants and needs me to do.  I also really loved the reminder that we all have talents and that it is important to share our talents with others, to make their lives better. I do think that it is important not to waste the talents we have been given. And to all of those people who claim that they don't have any creativity or talents....I loved this quote!

"You may think you don’t have talents, but that is a false assumption, for we all have talents and gifts, every one of us. The bounds of creativity extend far beyond the limits of a canvas or a sheet of paper and do not require a brush, a pen, or the keys of a piano. Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before—colorful gardens, harmonious homes, family memories, flowing laughter." ~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf
When I read the last part of that quote of FAMILY MEMORIES and FLOWING LAUGHTER, it made me think of the photos of the kids when they were little. I thought of them as sweet family memories, but when the kids see them all they can do is laugh and asked questions like..." Why did you cut my bangs like that?" "Why were my pants so short and my waistband so high?" Oh I thought and still do that they were too cute. Yes, this is a photo of Amy and Brad...not sure if they would want me to identify them? But just look at those cute faces...yes, that has got to be Amy and Brad! :)

I work with the most amazing women at our Quilt Shop! I have said it before, but they are so talented and are some of the most giving women that I know. They spend hundreds of hours and quite a bit of money... creating these BEAUTIFUL quilts, only to give them away to any one in need. Each time a quilt is donated, or I hear of all the quilts that were made others in need... I feel in awe, and honored to know them. They are great examples to me... of doing what you can to help others, even if it takes a great sacrifice of time and effort.
So I am grateful for the talk that was given and for the reminder it was to me. I am still tired from my trip last week, so I am going to head to bed. Good night dear friends!

"When ye are in the service of our fellow beings we are only in the service of our God." when we serve others we begin to love them and we can see God's image within them.Hope you all had a fun-filled Labor Day weekend! From today, we're all back to business again. Here's a great quote to get you started! Stay connected to

Sunday, May 19, 2013

What's important to you?

Well, I have just turned on my computer for the first time since Weds. I can't believe that I have been disconnected from my computer and email that long! I am soooooooooo grateful for my daughter Lauren, who wrote in my blog for the days I was gone. She is such an amazing writer, not sure if you guys are going to want to hear from me again? :)  Lauren is in college, so you will have to wait till she graduates and maybe she will do her own blog. But I love what she wrote, how she thinks and definitely how she thanks again Lauren!!!
Today I read something that really struck home to me. It was this quote...

What's important to you? It is so true, when you really stop to think about it... you can always find time, or make time for something you really want and that is important to you. But when it is something that you really aren't interested in or something that really isn't important to you....the excuses just seem to come at an alarming rate. So it made me think, about some of my choices and my excuses and to stop and really look at them. I need to really spend time on things that really matter to me. I am famous for fretting over things that hurt my feelings or that upset me...instead of just letting them go. I need to take a stand on things, that don't bring me forward and upward. I need to stop letting things that don't really matter, drag me down.
So once again, I need to go back to the very thoughts and how I react to them. Funny how you can be my age and realize that still have so many more things to learn! Well, at least I am still learning, I think that is a positive step in the right direction!
Good night dear friends, hope you have a wonderful Sunday!

 “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

 “But until a person can say deeply and honestly, "I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday," that person cannot say, "I choose otherwise.”
Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

 Alice came to a fork in the road. 'Which road do I take?' she asked.
'Where do you want to go?' responded the Cheshire Cat.
'I don't know,' Alice answered.
'Then,' said the Cat, 'it doesn't matter.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


  For me at least, reading through the bible I always skipped over the section of Psalms. They usually sounded boring and didn't make much sense. But the other night I was reading a book called "For Times of Trouble" by Jeffrey R. Holland. He goes through a selection of the verses in Psalms and clarifies them, which is a great help to me! The one I found the most interesting during my reading last night was Psalm 144:12, "That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace". Holland says that,"This phrase from the Psalmist is one of the loveliest scriptural images we have regarding children...What could be inspiring than to think of our daughters as a corner stones of a palace".
    What if we thought of all women this way? Would we see them differently? I am flattered to be considered a "polished" jewel in the sight of God. Palaces are often exquisite, adorned with every beauty of craftsmanship, and home to the royal. What an honor. Women have been considered the heart of the home and a foundation for their families. 
    Men are also incredible! They love, serve and protect all that they hold dear. Parents have a great responsibility to raise their children into such men and women; they all want their children to be "safe, pure, strong and righteous" as Holland says. 
    I can only hope that when I have a family of my own, my husband and I can raise our sons to be as "plants grown up in their youth" and daughters who are "polished after the similitude of a palace", being the best they can be. Being responsible citizens, friends, family and children of God. 

"Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them." -Lady Bird Johnson

"Every child you encounter is a divine appointment." -Wess Stafford

"I continue to believe that if children are given the necessary tools to succeed, they will succeed beyond their wildest dreams!"  -David Vitter

Saturday, May 18, 2013

"The Beast in the Jungle"

       For my Advanced Literary Analysis class we have to select a short story to analyze and turn into a paper. I have filtered through some of my favorite stories of horror, adventure, intrigue and finally found one that, first I haven't read and second it is one that makes you think. The main character John Marcher, a man who feels that something prodigious will happen to him during this life time. He spends years waiting for this event to spring on him. Through out the story he is watched over by his dear friend May Bartam. They both agree to wait and watch for this terrible event to happen, and for years they wait. Marcher likens this coming event to a 'crouching beast ready to spring". After years May develops feelings for John and John feels some small feelings for her though he pushes her away thinking that he is saving her from an awful fate. Finally May develops a blood disorder which will soon end her life. In her wisdom she tells John that this 'thing' has already happened and he is a victim, though he never fully realized her meaning until a year after her passing. This great 'event', this great demise, was never living and that the escape from the fate would have been to love her. That was the solution all along. "The Beast had lurked indeed, and the Beast, at this hour, had sprung; it had sprung in the twilight of the cold April when, pale, ill, wasted, but all beautiful, and perhaps even then recoverable." He realized by not loving, by hiding he had never lived, and by not living he had caused his own demise. John Marcher had finally gained the perspective he so desperately needed, and one only May could see.
      John Marcher let his life be ruled by fear; fear of the unknown. He was waiting for something that was right in front of him, but was too simple or to easy for him. The moral of the story is to never live your life in fear of the unknown because the remedy to that fear is to live. Don't find the perspective you need when it's too late. Love those who love you, keep them close. Live your life everyday as if there will be no more days to come.

"I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear."  ~Rosa Parks

"Fear is never a reason for quitting; it is only an excuse."  ~Norman Vincent Peale 

"Somebody should tell us…right at the start of our lives…that we are dying. Then we might live to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows." ~Michael Landon