Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Tea Party

We were fortunate to have a free day today after swimming lessons were cancelled due to less than 70 degree weather (in July!) Reagan came across her tea set that she hasn't played with for awhile and asked if we could play tea party! Sure! She got 5 of her "stuffed" friends and we sat down for a tea party. Reagan was a gracious host taking care of each of her guests, offering tea, cream, sugar, cakes and brownies. We had a fun time around our tea party. I am grateful for the cancellation today and the little moments like this!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mondays Matter: Week 30 (on a Wednesday)

Taken from the book Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways To Make A Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza
Create a Back-to-School Backpack
-28 million children from low-income families enter school each fall.
-Required school supplies cost between $20-$100, depending on the grade level, a financial burden for low-income families, especially if they have more than one school-age child.
-Having new and proper school supplies increases a child's confidence, self-esteem, and excitement about school.
-Children who feel good about themselves and their abilities are much more likely to do well in school - and in life.
1. Select a family in your neighborhood or workplace who is in financial need and has school-aged children. Or ccall a local elementary school, food pantry, or church to find a family.
2. Get your friends, co-workers, and family members involved so you can buy in bulk. It's more cost effective, and more kids can benefit.
3. Go to the website of the child's school to see if a list of supplies for each grade level is posted. Also most Targets, Wal-Marts, and KMarts, have copies of the neighboring school supply lists right at their store.
4. Some ideas: backpack, #2 pencils, black or blue pens, colored pencils, crayons, markers, pencil box, folders, wide-ruled spiral notebooks, 12 inch ruler.
5. Select backpacks and school supplies that are fun and gender specific.
6. Deliver the backpacks with a smile!
Since our school district is very rural, we have a high amount of low-income families in our district. Since I often volunteer at the school, I have been there when a new student shows up, especially in the middle of the year, with backpack, folder, pencils, markers, crayons, etc. You wouldn't believe the smile on the child's face, when the school nurse, or the teacher gives that child a brand new backpack full of supplies. This responsibility would often fall on the teacher to go out and get the supplies that student needed. Our school takes donations of any school supplies and has drop off boxes at our local library. Our church has a drive for school supplies that we then hand off to our school nurse to tuck away for particular situations. This year I already have a backpack that I purchased on clearance last year all ready to go into the school donation bin. I know it will make some little girl very happy! If you have a group, you can make a copy of the school supply list and divide it up between you, or each one of you take a gender and a grade and get all the supplies needed. Even if you are donating a glue stick or a notebook, you are helping out a student and a teacher at the same time!
Help make going back to school a positive experience and stock a backpack for a child. You are eliminating a challenge for a low-income family and enabling a young student to start the school year on a level playing field.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Stargazers and Aunt Em

This is a photo of my Aunt Emily showing off her Stargazer Lilies. She was one of my favorite people in the whole world. Aunt Emily died in 1994 at the age of 98. Yes, 98. She also only lived in a nursing home the last year or two of her life! She was amazing! I loved going to visit her as a child and later as an adult. She was the tiniest little lady I had ever seen, but she was a tough little lady! I remember going and visiting her later in her life in her tiny senior apartment. We would have lunch together and read or watch TV. Aunt Emily also kept a daily diary and I always thought I would do that too. I guess my blog is as close as I will get for now. Every year I am reminded of my Aunt Emily when my Stargazer Lilies start to open. Their scent is so powerful that it instantly takes me back to Aunt Emily's house and reminds me of her. I miss her terribly, but am so glad I have my stargazers to remind me of her!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mondays Matter: Week 30

To come....I seem to have misplaced the book. I hope to find it today! UPDATE: Still haven't found the book. As soon as it appears, I will post our Week 30! So sorry!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Goose Egg!

Last night our daughter, Reagan was running through the kitchen and at the same time our cat, Buddy decided to run right in front of her. (Kind of like when you are driving and just when you come up to the animal in the road, rather than staying where they are...and safe...they run right in front of your car....SMACK!) Anyway, Reagan tripped over Buddy and landed head first into the corner of a supporting wall we have separating our kitchen in living room. I saw it happen and thought for sure I would be seeing blood gushing when she came back up. My husband had just come home after the boys practice and picked her up. Thank goodness there was no blood, just lots of screaming! After getting her calmed down, we found a VERY LARGE goose egg on her head, growing by the minute. I tried to ice it but that was too painful for her. So, just spent some time snuggling and calming her down. After no visible signs of more harm, she spent the rest of the evening at our friends house playing. This morning the goose egg was smaller, but still quite painful. She is our tough little girl, the only one of the kids to ever have stitches, and more bumps than I can count!

This is Reagan after getting her first (and hopefully only) set of stitches 2 summers ago!
We are grateful God was watching over her last night and kept her cute little head safe from a more harmful injury!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Review: Sometimes Mine by Martha Moody

From the back of the book:
Genie Toledo is a forty-something divorced doctor who is smart and funny and immensely likable but who keeps her friends and family at arm's length. She devotes all her time to her work. The only person to penetrate her emotional life is Mick Crabbe, the charming college basketball coach with whom she's had a longtime, long-distance affair. When Mick becomes seriously ill, Genie is forced to reassess and drastically change her priorities. What she sees is not just how important Mick is to her but how his ability to connect with the world has made him happier and more complete.

I received this book as an ARC from Riverhead Books/Penguin Group. I had read Best Friends by Moody awhile back, so was interested in reading her newest novel. This novel interested me in the first few pages and kept me interested all the way to the end. I truly enjoyed this novel and feel it is Moody's finest work yet! I liked having the novel written from the "mistress" perspective. It gave the affair a different angle. There would be pages where I felt sorry for Genie, others where I was completely frustrated with her, and yet others where I was rooting for her. She was a likable character even though she was doing something I don't agree with. I loved when the story intertwined Mick's family with Genie's life and how their lives intersected. I thought Moody's portrayal of the relationships was extremely realistic.

At times, I identified with Genie's character..."It hit me that the very thing that kept me going - my own will - was what had brought me down. I'd never enjoyed the moment as it happened, I'd always been preparing for the next thing." Sometimes I feel like I am just trying to get through things in my life without really enjoying them, so I can finish and move on to the next thing. This reminded me that I need to clear my plate and enjoy what is in front of me more often.

This novel also looks at marriages: Mick's marriage, Genie's divorce, each of their parents' marriage, Genie's daughter's impending marriage..."Maybe that's life, I thought driving home: each generation reacting against the mistakes of the one before it, and no one ever, except by serendipity, getting it right." Isn't that the truth? Aren't we constantly comparing our marriages to our parents', our siblings', our grandparents', and our friends' marriages? Telling ourselves my marriage will never be like that, or why can't my marriage by like theirs?

I also loved the author's statement: "We didn't kiss enough, I was thinking, and neither of us wanted to stop, because a kiss was always beckoning the future, a kiss held the promise of something more."

I folded down numerous pages that I want to reread again. This was a story that flowed easily for me from beginning to end even though the topic of adultery can be controversial. I enjoyed the hopeful ending left for the character, Genie. I would like to think she has a new beginning at the end of this story. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. Sometimes Mine plans to be published on August 6, 2009.

Mondays Matter: Week 29

Taken from the book Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways To Make A Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza


-Feeling appreciated is one of the strongest human desires.
-There is warmth in a handwritten note - it instantly makes the message more personal, creates a more intimate feeling, and makes the recipient feel more valued.
-With email and instant messaging, a handwritten note is getting rarer and therefore more special.
-A handwritten note costs less than a dollar to write and mail, and the relational value is priceless.
-The recipient can keep and reread it forever.

1. Select the person - a family member, friend, co-worker, or someone you haven't spoken to in a long time - whom you want to thank for what he or she brings to your life.
2. Choose a postcard, letter, or card.
3. Take a few minutes to write a warm, sincere message that clearly communicates your love and appreciation for that person.
4. Decide if you want to add any special touches like unique paper, scents, photography, drawings on the envelope, or a specialty stamp.
5. Send it TODAY!

Today I sent a birthday card to a friend. I know how much I appreciate receiving birthday cards and notes in the mail and so I try really hard to remember friends and family members birthdays and send actual cards in the mail. It is much better than receiving a comment on Facebook or an email. I also plan to send a note to our friend, Mary, who wrote and directed the play that our boys were in this weekend. She has such amazing talent and is so giving of her time to the kids in our community. I want her to know how much I appreciate her efforts.

When was the last time you handwrote anything to anyone? Handwrite a note of gratitude to somebody today, even if it just to say you are thinking of them. They will appreciate it! Think of the smile you will bring to their face!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Happy 8th Birthday Bennett!

Our middle child turns 8 today and I want to share a little bit about him with you! Bennett is our early riser who hops out of bed ready to start the day. He was never a snuggler as a baby, but is now our biggest snuggler! He loves to build with his legoes and is very good at it as you will see in one of the photos below. He enjoys soccer and this year tried wrestling which he is learning a lot about. This year he also taught himself how to wink and blow a bubble which he is quite proud to show off!

Here is a little bit more about Bennett:

What is your favorite thing to do with your dad?

Have tackle/tickle time!

What is your favorite thing to do with your mom?

Play board games with her!

What is your favorite TV Show?

Penguins of Madagascar

What do you want to be when you grow up?

An artist, an olympian, or a chef

If you could spend a whole day doing exactly what you wanted, what would you do?

play video games, go to the play station and chuck e cheeses.

What is your favorite sport to play?


What would be your favorite meal?

Pizza, tacos, and macaroni and cheese

What do you like to learn about?


What is your favorite color?


If you could have 1 wish, what would it be?

To be able to do and have whatever I want, like fly, have muscles like Superman.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rockin Tuesday

This summer has just flown by and I can't believe it is the middle of July. The kids go back to school in 5 short weeks! I have been so busy with other commitments this summer that the kids and I haven't really had a day of fun together. So, today, I cancelled something else I was supposed to do and we spent the day at home...sleeping in, playing games, talking a walk, and doing a craft. I got these great guitar cut-outs from Oriental Trading. So, the kids each decorated their own guitar and then, of course, ROCKED OUT!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mondays Matter: Week 28

Taken from the book Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways To Make A Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza
-30% of children's meals consist of fast food.
-1 in 5 children between the ages of 6 and 17 are overweight.
-Large portions, value meals, and supersizing create serving sizes that are double and triple the recommended daily allowance.
-Billions of dollars are spent each year on fast food ads targeting children.
1. Don't eat fast food today.
2. Start the habit of switching one fast food meal per week to a healthier alternative.
3. On days you do eat fast food, ask for the small size.
4. Never supersize your meal. The price and value may be tempting, but your health pays the greatest price.
5. Plan your meals at least a few days in advance.
6. Go to the store and buy fresh or organic food.
7. Pack a healthy lunch or cook dinner at home today.
With each fast-food meal, you significantly increase your carbohydrate and fat intake as well as the calories you eat. So, plan your meals, simplify your schedule, cook and eat dinner as a family. When I plan our meals, our family eats better, I am less stressed and we are sitting around our own table!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk!

Don't cry over spilled milk, but apparantly you do cry over spilled trail mix! Poor Reagan! Luckily, we had more!

I Believe...

I saw this in a newsletter and I loved all 3 of the statements and thought I would share them with you.


that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences...

that money is a lousy way of keeping score...

that my best friend and I, can do anything, or nothing and have the best time...
So, appreciate your heroes, don't value money over relationships, and find time to get together with your best friend!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Mondays Matter: Week 27

Taken from the book Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make A Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza
Protect Yourself From Identity Theft
-8.4 million adults are victims of identity fraud annually.
-$5,720 is the average fraud amount per victim
-25 hours per victim is the average time required to resolve identity theft and its consequences.
-63% of identity information is obtained through traditional methods, such as lost or stolen wallets; misappropriation by family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors; stolen mail or trash.
1. Use a paper shredder for important documents like credit applications, credit offers, insurance forms, physician statements, bank statements, and expired charge cards.
2. Deposit outgoing mail in collection boxes located inside the post office.
3. Promptly remove mail from your home or business mailbox.
4. Don't carry your Social Security card with you.
5. Keep personal information in a safe and secure location at home.
6. Don't give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or on the Internet unless you've initiated the contact or are sure you know with whom you are dealing.
7. Create passwords that are random combinations o numbers, symbols, and both upper and lower-case letters.
8. Order a free copy of your credit report every 12 months.
9. Check your online bank statement on a regular basis.
Thieves can be so convincing, whether it is through email or the telephone. They make the situation you will lose the particular service, email, account is in jeopardy, etc. The companies will never call you. They will close the account if they have doubts and wait for you to call them. If you ever have a concern, hang up and call the company you have the account with yourself. They will appreciate you double-checking with them!
When someone steals your name, social security number and credit, they steal YOU! You could lose a job opportunity, be refused a loan for a house, car, or school. Get arrested for a crime you didn't commit. Take the time and protect yourself as well as your protect your children or personal belongings!